The fifth annual Water Valley Hobo Gathering will be held at the Casey Jones Railroad
Museum from Wednesday, April 18, through Saturday, April 21. One of the highlights of the event will be Kid’s Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Hobo campfires will be held on Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m.
This year’s gathering will honor Mississippi’s first national Queen of the Hobos, Charlotte O’Briant of Amory. Ms. Charlotte was elected last August at the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. She is also the first southerner to serve as Queen.
The Junior Auxiliary of Water Valley will help with the Kid’s Day activities on Saturday which will include a hobo dress-up contest, hobo golf and hobo crafts.
Parents are urged to dress up as hobos along with the kids. Admission to all events is free.
The Hobo campfires will feature family style entertainment both nights.
On Friday night there will be a campfire lighting ceremony.
Several past national Hobo Kings and Queens are expected to attend.
Among the colorfully named hobos who will be on hand are Redbird Express, Loco Larry, Freedom Green, Virginia Slim, Baloney Kid, and Gypsy Breeze.
Although the focus of the event will be on the weekend, many of the hobos are expected to arrive on Wednesday and they will set up booths and tables with railroad memorabilia, hobo arts and crafts for sale. The parking lot of the museum will be open for campers, according to museum curator J.K. Gurner. Water and restroom facilities will be available.
There will be a preview sale of the Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Carnival 2007
T-shirts during the gathering. This year’s shirt features an Illinois Central Railroad steam locomotive. The t-shirts are available for $12 in pink, blue and white in both adult and children’s sizes.
The museum, which houses an extensive collection of railroad memorabilia, is located in downtown Water Valley in the former Illinois Central Railroad depot. The museum will be open extended hours during the weekend.