WATER VALLEY – What do you give a town for its 150th birthday?
“How about good weather and a big turnout,” said Mayor Bill Norris.
Water Valley’s Founders Day celebration begins early Saturday morning and features entertainment for the young and young at heart, according to the Water Valley Main Street Association, coordinators of the daylong slate of events.
“You can participate in the 5K Run, test your skill at horseshoes or enter your pet in the Pet Parade,” said Main Street Manager Jessie Gurner.
You can also see fashions from 1858 through 2008, check out the quilt show, or try your luck at the hula-hoop contest, she added.
“Playing dominos was a popular pastime in Water Valley,” Gurner continued. “So, we’re holding a domino tournament with cash prizes totaling $300.”
Opening ceremonies are at 11 a. m. at the Railroad Park Pavilion. There will be music all day from a line up that includes the Water Valley Community Band, Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm Band, Point of Origin, Too Many Drivers, PushIIShove and Evermore.
The food vendors for the event are mostly local civic and church groups. “These are some of the best cooks in the area and all the money raised will go to support their projects,” Gurner said.
The Main Street Association office at 207 Main will be open all day and serve as an information center, according to Kim Jones, promotions committee chairman. In addition, the entries in the Birthday Cake Contest will be on display at the office.
“An overall Official Water Valley Sesquicentennial Birthday Cake will be selected from among the entries and will be awarded a ribbon and a $100 cash prize,” said Ramona Bernard, chairman of the cake contest. “You can also bid on your favorite cake in the silent auction.”
For those who would like to show off their pet, there will be a contest and a pet parade, according to Amanda Edwards of the Water Valley Junior Auxiliary, sponsors of the pet events. “Entrants must pre-register by 2 p.m. in front of the Chamber of Commerce,” Edwards added.
If all of the above sounds too tame, there will be a pudding-eating contest hosted by the Water Valley Lions Club at the depot.
If you aren’t full from the pudding, you can participate in the popcorn tossing/eating contest. It will be held in front of the Parker building, a spot familiar to generations of Water Valley popcorn lovers.
In addition to the games and contests, there will an Antique Car Show in Shuffield Park, a Church Softball Tournament at the Crawford Sports Contest and a plant sale by the Town and Country Garden Club.
Photographs entered in the Founders Day Photo Contest will be on display at the North Mississippi Herald building. Also, an exhibit of items for the time capsule will in the window at Turnage Drug Store.
There will be entertainment that evening on the Main Street stage by Braden Gray and Loose Gravel. Next will be spectacular fireworks show followed by more entertainment as Thompson Ward takes the Main Street stage in front of Mechanics Bank.
Main Street will be closed all day to vehicles and open to pedestrians from Wood Street to Panola Street.
A full schedule of events can be found on page five of the Sesquicentennial Special Section included with this week’s Herald.
For information contact the Water Valley Main Street Association at 662-473-3796.
WATER VALLEY – A pictorial postmark to commemorate Founders Day will be available Saturday at a temporary Post Office station located at the Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum.
The postmark will feature the eagle from the old Bank of Water Valley along with the dates, 1858 and 2008, as well as the April 19 issue date.
The temporary station will be located in the freight room portion of the museum from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., according to Water Valley Postmaster Sherman Hillhouse.
“As a community service, the Postal Service offers pictorial postmarks to commemorate local events celebrated in communities throughout the nation,” Hillhouse said.
People attending the Founders Day activities may obtain the postmark in person at the temporary station. Those who cannot attend the event but who wish to obtain the postmark may submit a mail order request.
All requests must include a stamped envelope or post-card bearing at least the minimum First-Class Mail postage. Items submitted for postmark may not include postage issued after the date of the requested postmark.
Customers wishing to obtain a postmark should affix stamps to any envelope or postcard of their choice, address the envelope or postcard to themselves or others, insert a card of postcard thickness in envelopes for sturdiness, and tuck in the flap.
Place the envelope or postcard in a larger envelope and address it to: Pictorial postmarks, Founders Day Station, Postmaster, 501 N Main St, Water Valley, MS 38965-9998.