HOUSTON – The weather was perfect, the music was great and the crowds turned out for Houston Homecoming 2013.
The annual community celebration on the Square in downtown Houston saw a large crowd turn out for an afternoon of food and entertainment and they all stuck around for the evening’s fireworks display.
“We had people as deep on Jefferson Street as I have seen them in a long time,” said Lanny Wilson, of the Houston Homecoming Planning Committee. “The weather was perfect, we had a good variety of music and something for everybody. I think people had a real good time this year.”
Saturday’s event has roots that stretch back to the 1990s when a group of people decided to host a community celebration around the July 4th holiday. The event quickly grew into an afternoon of music, food, fun, fellowship and fireworks.
As Houston has embraced Homecoming, class reunions and family vacations are scheduled around the event. There were three class reunions held over the weekend with classes getting together privately on Friday and then showing up downtown on Saturday.
“I want to welcome you back to Houston,” said Mayor Stacey Parker, during opening ceremonies. “This is a great little city that many of you grew up in and many of us call home today.”
Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors President Anderson McFarland also welcomed the crowd.
“We want you to enjoy Houston and all of Chickasaw County and have a good time today,” said McFarland. “This event shows our musical talent and how friendly Chickasaw County is. Thank you for being here this afternoon.
A nice breeze out of the north helped keep the temperature down and as the shade covered Jefferson Street on the east side of the Square, people in chairs and on blankets quickly filled the street.
Vendors did a brisk business in fried catfish, sausage, barbecue, popcorn, boiled peanuts, snow cones, ice cream and soft drinks.
Saturday’s fun was not without a few kinks.
The truck hauling in bounce houses to be set up on the Courthouse lawn broke down and the giant inflatables didn’t go up until about 6 p.m. The fireworks were also shot from a new location this year and the buildings downtown once again blocked the view on those skyrockets that burst low.
Saturday’s music started with the National Anthem by Houston’s Molly May. The Community Choir then took the stage set up at the intersection of Madison and Jefferson and sang three patriotic songs.
The live entertainment included Greg Dillard, One Way Quartet, Over-The-Hill Jazz Band and finished up with the debut of the Tim Warren Band and youngsters dancing in the street.
“A lot of people work hard every year to make this event happen,” said Parker. “We want to thank the Houston Homecoming Planning Committee for the volunteer work they do to organize this event. We also want to thank our sponsors who play a big part in making all this happen.”
Sponsors for Houston Homecoming 2013 were:
GOLD – City of Houston, Chickasaw County, Franklin Corp., BankcorpSouth, Houston Monument, Nabors Do-It-Best and Sonora Sound Productions.
BRONZE – Raymond and Charlotte Griffin and Employees, K-N-K Construction, Parks & Parks Water Well Service, Regions Bank, Trace Regional Hospital.
COMMUNITY – Eaton Automotive, Houston Banking Center, Leggett & Platt and Rowlett Nursery & Landscaping.
FRIENDS – A&A Electrical, Chickasaw Development Foundation, Chickasaw Journal, David Thomas/Keith Pounds CPA, Houston Funeral Home, Houston Memorial Funeral Home, Jim’s Auto Parts, King’s Tire, Lions Club, McDonald’s, Sandra Willis, Tabb Insurance, Wanda Sweeney, WCPC Radio and WFCA Radio.