With a sense of nostalgia, Milton councilmen (and women) have decided to resume sponsorship of Scratch Ankle, taking up where they left off when the festival was a kinder, gentler celebration.
Originally established in 1971as a community undertaking in which family relationship, civic clubs and organizations, and church groups could come together and enjoy one another and share their special interests and resources. Although it was sponsored by the Milton City Council, it took shape as a project of the Milton Youth Council, high school aged young people who wanted to make a difference.
Scratch Ankle will mark its official return on March 14 and applications to participate can be found online at the City of Milton's website, www.ci.milton.fl.us, or by calling 983-5466.
Over the years the Scratch Ankle celebration prospered and grew to some extent, but it never lost its community, family oriented flavor. It enjoyed a wide reputation of home-spun values that made it popular with both civic and church groups.
There came a time, however and for whatever reason, when Main Street Milton took over the celebration. It was considered more of a project that Main Street Milton should be doing. The transfer was made with the highest of expectations, but as the years wore on, the theme and the temper of the celebration appeared to change.
“It became more of carnival atmosphere, straying from what it was originally intended for,” said Milton Mayor Guy Thompson. “So we (the City Council) decided to take it back and see if we couldn’t take it back to its roots.”
Mayor Thompson said taking it back would just about amount to starting over.
The celebration that was begun in the early 1970s with booths of various family projects such as ice cream by a church group and ethnic snacks by another group is what the Council is aiming for. “It might be a smaller group to start with, but it will much more of a fit for the atmosphere that we were trying to establish when it was started,” Mayor Thompson said.
The celebration that usually took place during the spring months was not held this year, perhaps because of the transition from one organization to another. But it definitely will (if the Good Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise) become a reality next year,” he said.