I live about 4 miles outside a community of 894 residents. This week is our 67th annual Homecoming sponsored by the VFW. Richardson Avenue or Main Street is blocked to make room for the square dance floor, carnival rides, eat stands and booths selling chances on quilts, guns, 50/50 drawing, tool chest, etc. Each night attendance drawings are sponsored by local businesses. Some businesses close for the week-long event and others, especially restaurants, hire extra help to serve the additional crowd of people. Store front windows display pictures of veterans throughout the years. It is a touching display. Pictures of my Dad and Uncle in their uniforms are on display.
Tuesday night was the first night of activities. At 6:30 the first Homecoming Queen Contest for resident girls age 5 began. Soon after was the contest for 16 year old residents. I worked at the booth sponsored by the Puxico Library Board. We sold 50/50 chances, gift cards and book bags decorated with renderings of the Library by deceased, local artist and former librarian Elizabeth Ruser and 75th anniversary plates and mugs. I visited with former students, current friends and family. The evening was enjoyable because I reconnected with old acquaintances.
Every night is bracelet night for the kids. Wednesday night is Church Night with a sermon in the Park, Thursday night is music in the Park, Friday at 10:00 am the baby contests for residents and Grandparents' Delight up to 2 years of age occurs followed later in the evening by the Alumni Reception and Saturday has a 1:00 parade, 5:00 Kids Attendance Prize Drawing and the largest crowd of the week. Graduates of Puxico High School schedule a class reunion every five years sometime during the week and usually have a float in the parade.
I need to mention the Goat Burger, which is not actually a burger, but a tasty bar-b-que made from goat meat. My husband says. "It's not baaad." They usually run out of goat burgers about 7 each evening. Other eat stands include a Corn Dog stand sponsored by the Ladies Auxillary, Ribbon Fries by the Methodist Men and various booths sponsored by the Carnival Company.
In spite of the intrusion of our daily lives and extra work, it is a welcome event. It brings friends and family members back to the community and signals the end of summer because school starts mid-week the following week. Members of the local community take time to stop and celebrate life and honor the veterans who have made our freedom possible.
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