GAINESVILLE - Memorial Park Funeral Home continued a July 4 tradition Friday that began 21 years ago: a free appreciation barbecue for public safety personnel, which is also open to the public.<br />
In contrast to last year when rain led to a cancellation of all outdoor activities associated with the barbecue, this year's warm, sunny skies meant a return to outdoor serving lines and a chance to "chow down" under one of several tents set up on the Memorial Park grounds just west of Gainesville. And, the live music was back, as well.<br />
The menu included barbecue pork and chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, potato chips, a slice of bread, a soft drink or water and watermelon.<br />
Though some of the activities were rained out last year, Memorial Park personnel quickly re-grouped and moved the food indoors, where the plates were prepared and then handed out without motorists having to leave their cars.