Keep Opelika Beautiful has announced its first Patriotic Porch Contest, just in time for the Fourth of July.

Director Tipi Miller said the idea came from seeing so many people working on their yards throughout the pandemic. KOB already gives an award for Yard of the Quarter, and Miller thought it would be good to recognize more people.

“Even though we were ordered to stay at home during most of the spring season, most people in our community are blessed with yards surrounding their homes,” Miller said. “Personally, I found that working in my yard throughout the spring gave me a chance to get out of the house, soak up some vitamin D, get some physical activity and have a sense of accomplishment.”

Miller said Keep Opelika Beautiful has received more recommendations for the Yard of the Quarter award this spring than any other time in its 18-year history. The hope with all their awards, she explained, is to start a domino effect throughout the neighborhood and city.

“When I emailed the Opelika City Council about this program, I immediately received some suggested candidates for the awards,” Miller said. “I contacted the homeowners, and they were thrilled to be part of the competition. I encourage community members to do the same thing.”

Front porches and yards will be judged based on their incorporation of the red, white and blue theme, creativity, arrangement and overall presentation.

Those interested in entering must submit a photo and their contact information to tipi@keep opelikabeautiful.com or the KOB page on Facebook.

Photos will be organized by city ward and posted to the organization’s Facebook page, with “likes” counting as votes. There will be a winner announced for each ward on July 8 along with additional awards including the Creativity Award and Mayor’s Choice Award.

Fourth of July celebrations will look a bit different this year, but Miller believes the last six months have shown “that we can survive a simpler life.”

“All of my life I thought the Fourth of July could not be celebrated without watching fireworks at the high school then cooking out at the lake the next day,” she said. “I never considered anything less as I assumed it would not be enjoyable. But, through simplifying our lives, we have also become creative.”

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