Irvington – My kind of town!
I love it when the first week of July rolls around. Irvington Virginia is the place to be at that time – The Air Force Heritage of America Band concert on the Green, The Irvington Farmer’s Market, the Irvington Fourth of July Parade and great fireworks from Tides Inn on Carters Creek top off the festivities. This week was blessed with great weather to just make everything extra special.
For almost twenty years the Irvington Village Improvement Association has been hosting the Band's pre-Fourth of July appearance on the Village Green to the delight crowds feasting on the hot dogs, burgers, Fourth of July cake and drinks provided by the Chesapeake Bank.
Of course, it's actually more like a big tailgate party as various groups break out fine china, crystal, silverware and patriotic centerpiece displays to enliven an evening's mood that already is alive with much merrymaking.
This year a “Best Table” award was presented by the Village Improvement Association for the “best center” piece. The Bluff Point Community Association was recognized with a “best table” gift certificate dinner for two from the Tides Inn. Since it was not possible to split the award among all the Association members, they were going to take advantage of the prize by raffling it off, using the proceeds to help with the maintenance costs of the Community Center which recently was placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Now that truly is “community” as practiced by Irvington’s citizens and businesses.
We have a group of friends - two old soldiers and the Wichita Lineman - we join on the Green for the concert every year. As we are usually late arrivals, it’s always a challenge to find them in the sea of concert goers. Someone came up with the idea of tying balloons to the chairs or a cooler so we could spot them more easily – red or blue seemed an appropriate color given the occasion. Ah, the “Where’s Elmo?” challenge.
Mayor Fleet kicked off the opening ceremonies with thanks for all who helped organize and supported the concert, paid special tribute to the band noting that next year’s performance would be the Twentieth Anniversary. He promised a special range of festivities in honor of the occasion.
Among the audience enjoying the evening I spotted Congressman Rob Wittman hanging out near the food court. Mr. Wittman was in town to be a participant in Irvington’s Fourth of July parade to be held on Friday.
Not everyone was focused on the patriotic music of the concert. Liquid tattoos and playground equipment caught the attention of the youngest crowd members.
The festivities always wind up with a salute to America’s service men and women. It’s an occasion for veterans, their spouses and kin to stand up and be recognized. Last year I noted that all the Services were represented with an organizational flag except the U.S. Navy. As irony would have it, a Navy vet showed up with a flag this year and planted it about 6 feet directly in front of me. He had no idea who I was nor of my previous observation about the missing service flag.
I didn’t have any trouble seeing the presence of the Navy service flag this year. Thanks, Captain, I see it now.
And I hope to see all of you for next year’s Twentieth Anniversary concert!