• 86°

July 4 brings different traditions for families

With the Fourth of July only days away, local residents were turning out in droves at local retail establishments to prepare for the upcoming holiday. To them, the weekend is one of few where families have the opportunity to partake in some unique holiday traditions.

To some, it’s a day spent with family and friends; to others, it’s a day fishing or at the ballpark — which is where the Riley family will be this year.

“My son Tyrell is playing in the All-Star tournament, so we’ll be the same place we’ve been for the last couple of years — at the ball park,” said mom, Dianna. Sister Savryn said she’d rather be at the pool playing, but brother Cameron said he was happy watching his brother play ball.

At least two Covington County families will be hitting the high seas this year as they fish in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Our big tradition is going fishing in the bay,” said Florala resident Kyra Edwards. “I grew up doing that, I think since I was 2. Now, I’ve got three daughters and that’s what we’re going to be doing.”

Shelia Daugherty of Gantt said her family will be heading just south of Tallahassee, Fla., to do a little scalloping and fishing — all while enjoying an ice cold watermelon.

Only one family polled — the Schneider family from Florala — said shooting fireworks was their family tradition.

Ruth and Bud Worley of the Straughn community said they’re going to spend the weekend doing what they do every year — loving on their grandkids.

“We’re going to cook out too,” Ruth Worley said. “I’m in charge of the potato salad and he’s in charge of the grill.”

Jessica Hooks of Andalusia said her family will be busy creating a new family tradition — celebrating a Fourth of July birthday. Her niece is scheduled to make her debut into the world sometime on Saturday, she said.

Hooks’ mother, Renee, said she plans to celebrate the holiday by honoring the memory of her late husband — a U.S. veteran.

“He passed away in 1998,” she said. “For us, Fourth of July is a big deal since he was a veteran. It means family and is a time of remembrance for us. We also like to remember the reason why we can celebrate this holiday, how we got our independence. The day is not all about hot dogs, watermelons and fireworks. It’s about the men and women who gave their life for our country.”