Town ready to celebrate Founders Day

Published 5:00 am Friday, April 25, 2008

Organizers of the Wesson Founders Day Festival say they expectSaturday’s turnout to be the best one in the 19-year history of theevent.

“It’s going to be a great day of fun,” said Founders DayChairperson Claire Crow. “It looks like it’s going to be ourbiggest ever.”

Wesson Mayor Alton Shaw said the hard work and new ideasvolunteers have put into the event this year should contribute tothe excitement and fun of the event.

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“We’re looking forward to the festivities, and with some of theadditions and changes we’ve made it’s going to be a great success,”he said.

One of the prominent changes made was that organizers felt theweather would be more conducive to large crowds if the festival wasmoved from its customary day in June to a day in the spring, whichwould not be as hot.

Events start Friday night with gospel singing downtown at 7 p.m.Saturday’s events kick off bright and early at 8 a.m. when Crowsaid over 60 vendors will populate the streets of downtown Wessonwith their wares.

The Hog-Calling Contest, which adds a new dimension of fun tothe first barbecue cook-off that will take place later that day,begins at 9 a.m.

“We’re having our first annual barbecue cook-off, which is ribsand chicken,” Crow said. “We have several teams so far signed up,and we have professional judges coming to judge that.”

The new Founders Day Queen will be crowned at 10 a.m., justbefore the parade at 11 a.m. Outgoing Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege President Dr. Howell Garner will be the grand marshal thisyear, Crow said.

Also back by popular demand is the “Deal or No Deal” game thatwas a hit at last year’s Founders Day Festival. This year therewill be four shows during which contestants have a chance to win upto $1,000.

“We’ve sold 500 tickets already for Deal or No Deal,” Crow said.”And tickets are still available at the hospitality tent.”

Throughout the day, T-shirts will be sold, as well as havingentertainment, games, carriage rides and scavenger hunts. Inaddition, Crow said, there will be a street dance with a live bandwhich will start at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Political Cartoonist Ricky Nobile will be set up in front ofCity Hall drawing caricatures on a first-come, first-served basis,Crow said. There will also be displays and other sources ofinformation on the history of Wesson at the library and CityHall.

“We’re so excited about all of it,” Crow said. “We’ve had a lotof volunteers step up this year who are willing to help. Our boardmembers have been meeting once a week since February, planningthis, so we have really put in a lot of time and energy andeffort.”