I heard the 4th of July occurred last week. The holiday passed without a lot of fanfare for locals as much of the coast was experiencing a monsoon and public festivities were cancelled.

Not to be left out of a chance to celebrate, though, many came up their own ways to celebrate a rained-out holiday. Dana Saffel was one of those as she invited neighbors to her artsy Gulf Place home for a toga party when she heard the parades were a washout. Togas were required and the neighbors got creative. Ed and Donna Macdonald, Carol and Mike Stovsky, Brad and Claudia Droy, Tom Fillingim, and John Stasko enjoyed Tom Saffel's legendary ribs prepared with Bad Byron's Butt Rub, and a variety of hors d'oeuvres and drink as everyone sat around in their togas and watched what else? "Animal House." A fun way to spend a rained out holiday!

Even in the rain, old-time Grayton Beach residents went ahead with their 4th of July plans and had an impromptu parade of cars, bikes, and walkers and a few others jumped in along the way. "These Grayton diehards were not about to officially cancel the parade," said Grant Blackwell. Billy and Kelly Buzzett, Kitty Taylor and Alan Riehl, Catherine Frappier, and the Ricky Rookis family participated in it and their first annual "Float the Pass."

RoseAnn Knight celebrated the 4th by walking her second Atlanta Peachtree 10K in 1 hour and 29 minutes. She was pleased to report that was five minutes better than last year.

The night of the 4th, Lorre James's bird feeder in her yard off 393S was raided by a large black bear that ate all the bird feed and shuffled through stuff on her deck.

Carla Ravarino and Tracy Welker hosted a party last Wednesday night at their lovely Gulf Place home to celebrate Tracy being home from St. Louis and her birthday. Neighbors who attended included Ed and Donna Macdonald, Carol and Mike Stovsky, Brad and Claudia Droy, John Stasko, Tom and Michelle Fillingim, Tommy and Ann Melancom, Sharon Thompson, Greg and Beverly Schmitt, Charlie and Elizabeth Montgomery.   

Mary Elsberry has made it back to her old stomping grounds in Minnesota where she is enjoying seeing old friends. This is the first leg of her six-month travel adventure.

Susan Benton's son, Reed, who is studying at Oxford, was at Wimbledon last weekend, and London this weekend on break. Exciting times with the UK win!

Ron and Colleen Friesen received some great news last weekend from their West Coast family. Their niece, Reina Almon, was just crowned Miss Washington and will be competing for Miss America in September in Atlantic City, N.J. She was a former Miss Teen Washington State three years ago and is studying government affairs at Eastern Washington State University. She has been coming to South Walton with family for years. The whole extended family will be heading to Atlantic City to cheer her on in September.

Dixie and David Holder are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary July 17.

Rosemary Beach was featured in "Weddings Illustrated."

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa announces it has received the Pinnacle Award as one of the 2012 Best Hotels and Resorts from Successful Meetings magazine for the 10th time.

By the time you read this on Saturday morning, I will be with my three children in Auburn, N.Y, where we will be excitedly preparing to watch my son take lovely Elizabeth Ranieri as his wife at the historic Willard Memorial Chapel. We all joyfully bestow our blessings on this union. We're going to the chapel and we're gonna get married ...

Wish a "happy birthday" today to cupcake lady Jenifer Syed.

Sunday to Helen Geberding, and Alabama lady Teri Vice.

Monday to Bud & Alley's Dave Rauschkolb, Debra Adams, jeweler Rock Hard, and Tony Lange.

Tuesday to Greg Bahr, and Robbie Carroll.

Wednesday to Suzanne Lagratta.

Thursday to Doug Liles, and Russell Carter.

And Friday to Edd Fleckenstein, Kristine Peterson, Darlene Kluck, and Geoff Chick.


Deborah Wheeler is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Walton Sun. She may be reached at 654-8443 or email dwheeler@waltonsun.com. Her Party Line column appears weekly in The Sun. Contributions are encourag