Depot Days 2023 one month away
By Connor Loyd
For the Enquirer
The 42nd annual Depot Days celebration will return to downtown Hartselle in one month.
Originally known as “Mule Days,” Depot Days is a yearly tradition held on the third Saturday of September – celebrating Hartselle’s history with the railroad.
Saturday’s festivities will be preceded by a week of activities leading up to the festival. Among these will be a community worship service at East Highland Baptist Church Sept. 10. Rehearsals start at 4:30 p.m. that day, and all community members are invited to be a part of the choir.
Hartselle citizens are also encouraged to take a trip “Down Memory Lane” Sept. 11 as the Hartselle Historical Society puts on a show-and-tell of artifacts related to Hartselle’s history. This event will be held at Sparkman Civic Center.
The day long festival itself will be held Sept. 16 and feature everything from a children’s area populated by rides and games to a variety of shows featuring things such as cars, art and tractors. This year, the festival is being presented by Decatur Morgan Hospital and Hartselle Medical Mall.
Pulling off an event this size requires months of planning according to Hanna Denton, Depot Days co-director and Jaime Hatcher, Director of Programs and Events. Together, the two Chamber of Commerce representatives are working hard at putting the festival together for this year. However, they’re far from alone in this endeavor.
This year, a committee of nearly 30 people have come together to volunteer. Different segments of the committee will handle various aspects of the day’s events, including a new segment this year called the “parking committee” which is designed to help improve parking for vendors and merchants this year.
“It’s Hartselle’s largest event of the year, and it takes so many different people to put all the puzzle pieces together,” Hatcher said. “We have to work closely with the city, we have to work closely with volunteers, the schools, all kinds of different people to make it happen.”
“I think that’s what we strive for, is that everyone enjoys it,” Denton said. “On top of the official ‘mission’ of Depot Days from the Chamber, we just enjoy seeing it play out and run so smoothly, and everybody really enjoying themselves, being proud to be from Hartselle.”