Next Weekend Marks

Miss Casey Jones Suzanne Fischer shows the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Carnival 2007 T-shirts which will be on sale at the depot during the Hobo Gathering next weekend. – Photo by Jack Gurner

Next Weekend Marks
Fifth Hobo Gathering

There will be a preview sale of the Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Carnival 2007 T-shirts during the fifth annual Water Valley Hobo Gathering next week at the Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum.

The artist for this year’s design is Tommy Benefield, a former resident of Water Valley who was a student in Elementary and Junior High School.

The T-shirt features the Illinois Central Railroad steam locomotive 638 that belonged to legendary engineer Casey Jones. The T-Shirts are available for $12 in pink, blue and white in both adult and children’s sizes.

Highlights of the gathering will be Kid’s Day on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Hobo campfires with family entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7.

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.

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 parking lot of the museum will be open for campers, according to museum curator J.K. Gurner. Water and restroom facilities will be available.

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.

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