Silverhill to host 36th Heritage Day Saturday, Sept. 18


SILVERHILL — After nearly a year and a half delay, the town of Silverhill will host its 36th Annual Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Over 60 arts and craft vendors will be set up along Alabama 104. Stop by and shop with local vendors, enjoy meals from a variety of food trucks all while listening to some great live music.

Heritage Day was first established in 1982 to celebrate the town’s heritage, primarily Swedish and Czech.

The town of Silverhill was founded in 1896 under the direction of Oscar Johnson, head of the Svea Land Company from Chicago. Early Swedish colonists celebrated the popular Scandinavian holiday Mid-Summer Fest, first-mention of which in the town’s history can be found as early as 1904.

Prior to the festival in 2016, the decision was made not to hold the festival in September and move it to April of 2017 where it remained for three years. After last hosting the festival in April of 2019, plans for the 2020 festival were put on hold because of COVID-19 concerns. The festival was moved back to September before it was postponed indefinitely and eventually canceled.

The Festival was also canceled in 2005 after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 caused extensive damage to many of the town’s oak trees which lined Main Street (the festival was briefly moved to Havel Park).

Opening ceremonies for the 2021 festival begin at 9 a.m. with Nikki Childress singing the National Anthem.  A parade will follow at 10 a.m.

This year’s grand marshal leading the parade will be longtime Silverhill resident Lamar Giles. Giles is no stranger to Silverhill residents. You will often see he and his wife Peggy riding their golf cart around town.

Giles moved here in 1958. The only time he left was while he was overseas serving in the U.S. Navy. Giles has served on many civic and community organizations including Silverhill Planning and Zoning, Silverhill Veterans Organization, Chamber of Commerce and many more.

Giles and his wife attend Silverhill Covenant Church and they raised their two children, Karen Giles Goodwin and Barry Giles here. Giles has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“I love the people of Silverhill,” Giles said. “I have been to 12 countries and all over the United States and my heart is here.”