(ROCKVALE) Some things age well with time. Checkers, family games like a three-legged race, food and fireworks have been a part of the Fourth of July celebrations in Rockvale for ninety-three years. That was the agenda for the Rockvale 4th of July Picnic.
This small historic community settled by early settlers following the Revolutionary War, is situated in the western part of Rutherford County. The old school grounds are where they gather to celebrate Independence Day every year, for over 80 plus years. It is a grand tradition, a neighborhood party of sorts, one with a lot of practice. Whether you come to help put things on or walk around, everyone enjoys seeing those they have missed throughout the year and "visit", as it called. There is also food of course, games and music.
Rockvale's fourth of July Picnic is attended by people from all over the county, some coming back to visit, some come and see what it is all about, and some are new to the area.
The picnic is as unique as Rockvale. The first school at this location was built in 1910 under the state's effort to consolidate community schools for a more centralized education program.
The first year, it went to 11th grade and the next year 12th. The wooden school was torn down, and in 1927 a brick school was built in its place. The picnic began that year and the maple trees were planted to shade future events at the school. That picnic started with a horse race and an effort to raise money to support the community and school.
If you missed the 92nd celebration, don't let that happen again. This family event was sponsored by the Rockvale Ruritan Club at the Rockvale Community Center and Park (9972 Rockvale Road) and offered great memories, friendships and fun for everyone who attended.