COLUMBIA — Bare rib bones, leftover spaghetti sauce and the crumbs from a cookie sit on a plate in front of Harry Ricketts. More than 20 people sit at nearby picnic tables draped with white lace tablecloths. Everyone has an empty plate sitting on the table. To the side is a long table filled with covered dishes of leftover food.
Ricketts' friends and family gathered Saturday under the Harris Shelter at Cosmopolitan Park to celebrate the holiday and to restart a Fourth of July tradition that began nearly 20 years ago.
"The past couple of years, we haven’t come out here," Ricketts said. That changed when he heard that his son, Jerrad Ricketts, was coming to Columbia for the holiday from California with his wife, Jessica.
“This is Jessica’s first time out here,” Harry Ricketts said. “That is why we started it up again.”
When Harry Ricketts arrived at Cosmo Park at 8 a.m., he was a little scared that the rain would force the celebration indoors.
“I was hoping it would clear up by 1 p.m. so we could have lunch, and it did,” he said.
After the rain passed, family members served green bean casserole, hot dogs and ribs. Everyone contributed by bringing a dish to share.