Wesson gears up for Founder’s Day

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 10, 2005

WESSON –┬áResidents and visitors come together this weekend tocelebrate the history of Wesson during the town’s 16th annualFounders Day Festival.

Activities kick off at 7 tonight with a gospel concert byStrongriver in downtown. A full day of activities is planned forSaturday, including arts and crafts booths, musical entertainmentand a parade.

“I think it will be a good day, weather permitting,” said JoyWesbrooks, publicity chairwoman who has been helping coordinateactivities with festival chairwoman Minnie Wooten.

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The history of the town, which was started in 1840 as Bahala andbecame Wesson in 1864, will be featured during several activitiesat Town Hall.

“This will be our first effort,” Wesson librarian Susan Alsburysaid of the historical project.

“Wesson Remembers” will be shown between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.Saturday at Town Hall. The video, produced with the help ofvolunteer Van Britt, features interviews with long-time citizensdiscussing their town memories and footage of the town’s historicsites.

Alsbury said the project, a joint effort between the library andWesson Friends, aims to develop an archived history of the town forfuture generations. She hopes the project can expand in futureyears.

“We’re already in the process of planning next year, which willgive us more time,” Alsbury said. “What we’re trying to do isdevelop an interesting in promoting the history of Wesson, but alsothe library and the services it has to offer.”

Also at Town Hall will be an exhibit of pictures, items,stories, family genealogies and other items. An exhibit byMaurepas, La., artist Connie Hanna will be there.

Wesbrooks touted the close to 100 vendors scheduled to attendthis year’s event.

“It’s more than last year,” she said.

Wesbrooks said some of the vendors have been faithful attendeessince the first festival in 1989. Among this year’s vendorofferings are woodworks, crafts, food and a number of otheritems.

“It’s the best variety and selection we’ve had in a long time,”Wesbrooks said.

The arts and crafts show will run throughout the day Saturday,starting at 8 a.m. Musical and dance entertainment is scheduledduring the afternoon, culminating with a concert by crowd favoriteband Ghost Town from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m.

Founders Day Queen Stacey Claire Lowery, an honor student atWesson Attendance Center, will be presented at 10 a.m., and chamberambassador Jordan Smith, a junior at the school, will also berecognized, Wesbrooks said.

A parade through town is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.

Town leaders are excited about the event but expressed someconcern about a chance of rain Saturday.

“Barring that, we’re hoping for a good turnout,” Mayor AltonShaw said.