I’m not from Houston, but I got here as quick as I could.
One of the first events my family and I attended when we moved to Houston three years ago was Homecoming 2010. It was loads of fun and sparked a love for this community that continues to grow.
Pizza, pickles, popcorn and snowcones were topped off by good conversation and fireworks.
We got there early and stayed downtown until the traffic thinned out. We’ve been Homecoming regulars ever since.
I’ve been to a jillion festivals and hometown events in my 25 years in the newspaper business. They close off the streets, set up stands and a stage and invite everyone to bring their lawn chairs. Most are pretty cut and dried.
But this one is different.
Homecoming starts with the kids riding bicycles down Main Street and making hometown memories that will last a lifetime.
An old farm wagon filled with veterans is one of the neatest parts of Homecoming. My father was a World War II veteran and the honor and respect this community shows these men always touches me.
There is also a prayer and a welcome by local politicians.
Every year the National Anthem is sung by local talent. These homegrown folk step up to the microphone, look out on faces they know and sing from there heart and soul. It’s what Houston proud is all about.
The music is always good. It’s family oriented and varied enough to make us all happy.
Jazz, Gospel, country and rock are slated for this Saturday.
And it is all capped off with a dynamite fireworks show – no pun intended.
Houston may sometimes seem far away from the ebb and flow of world events. That is part of the reason people live here.
But people who have been raised in this community have gone out into the world to make their fame and fortune. And homecoming is one of those things that brings them back.
Homecoming is also pegged to July 4th.
I hope as you head to work this week you will remember there are men and women from our country defending your freedom today.
It’s easy to gather on The Square on Saturday night and wave our flags and then go to church on Sunday morning and sing a couple of patriotic songs.
I think we all need to remember that somewhere, some young American woke up in a foxhole this morning. We need to remember them. We need to support them. We need to thank them every chance we get.
Behind the scenes
I’m new around here and so it is easy to just soak up the fun.
I do know it takes a lot of hard work by a long list of people to make Houston Homecoming 2013 happen. There are sponsors who grease the wheel’s, too.
I love community events. They truly are one way a town defines itself and tells the world they are something special.
I’ve always felt if you can get industrial developers, potential school teachers and fire-and-brimstone preachers to come to town on Homecoming weekend this community would boom. It’s one of the things we do best. It’s one of the things that makes Houston a special place to live. It makes me Houston proud.
I’ll see you on The Square on Saturday night.