Founder’s Day fun draws young, old

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, April 28, 2013

Citizens of Wesson and out-of-towners alike gathered Friday and Saturday to celebrate the city’s 24th annual Founders Day festivities.

The event, sponsored by the Wesson Chamber of Commerce, featured live music, various food and craft vendors and the ever-popular parade of classic cars, horse-drawn buggies and fire trucks escorting the honorable Ambassador and Founders Day Queen.

The Dixie Dancers as well as the Camellia Dancers took the stage to strut their moves for the audience.

Yogi Yarbrough and Nancye Moore were among those who traveled from Brookhaven to take part in the revelry.

“We come every year,” Yarbrough said.

While Moore enjoyed the line dancing, Yarbrough admitted he came for the food.

The smell of hickory-smoked, slow-cooked pork, funnel cakes, jambalaya and other festival delicacies was hardly escapable as dozens of patrons lined up at the many vendor tents to fill their appetites.

True to the all-American nature of the celebration, a hot dog eating contest pitted contenders brave enough to challenge the limits of their stomachs.

Dale Hart of Wesson came out on top after devouring a whopping nine hot dogs in five minutes.

And, of course, true to the Southern nature of the hootenanny, a hog-calling contest was held to determine who would reign supreme in the art of swine shrieking.

Pearl James traveled from Vicksburg for her third year to set up temporary shop at Founder’s Day. James’ tent was full of handcrafted wind chimes and “carpenter bee traps.”

“I’ve done pretty well this year,” James said. “And, as always, I’ve met a lot of interesting people.”

Marilyn Britt, president of the chamber, attributed the success of this year’s event partly to the agreeable weather.

“It has been a great day,” Britt said. “The weather has cooperated with us and people are enjoying walking around the town, patronizing our local businesses.”

Britt continued as she squinted her eyes and smiled.

“I think it had a lot to do with the sunshine.”