Leachville Centennial plans being finalized

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Leachville Centennial Committee Front row from left: Frances Warren, Barbara Lloyd, Mayor Ralph Wells, Moba Lee Miller and Ethel Hetler. Back row Retha Hawkins, Jack Hawkins, Barbara Arnold, Barry Kirby, Elaine McClain, and Nan Snider.

The Leachville Centennial Committee is busy finalizing plans for the upcoming 100th birthday celebration slated for the July 4th weekend.

The celebration will begin Friday, July 3, with a "Dragging Main" event as cars line up to drive up and down Leachville's Main Street. An old-fashioned sock hop will be held at the old school gymnasium starting at 6 p.m.

"I have selected music for every decade of LHS students," Barry Kirby said. "This will be a time for dancing and fellowship and will kick off the centennial weekend festivities. I hope classmates will come out and join the fun."

Retha and Jack Hawkins display the old Leachville School stage backdrop listing city supporters.

A full slate of gospel music entertainment will be provided at the Melody Theater downtown, beginning at 7 p.m.

"Since many visitors will be in town on that Friday, we wanted to give everyone a chance to enjoy themselves and take part in something," Moba Lee Miller said.

On Saturday, July 4, the Centennial Parade line up will begin at BIC East Elementary at 9 a.m. Following the parade the school will be open for an all-class LHS School Reunion lasting until 5 p.m. Classmates will be able to register at the east and west entrances to the building. There will be a $5 registration fee for classmates only, to offset reunion expenses and clean up.

"We always have a good LHS reunion every five years, but are expecting a super large turn out this year because of the centennial," said Chairman Barbara Lloyd. "Bigg Butts BBQ will be on site to provide the noon meal at the school, which will allow classmates to enjoy eating with their families and friends inside the school cafeteria. We have something for everyone planned to fill the whole weekend."

For more information about the school reunion contact Barbara Lloyd at 870-539-6506 or email granny72438@yahoo.com. Lloyd's mailing address is P.O. Box 474, Leachville 72438.

The official Centennial opening ceremony will be begin at 11 a.m. on the stage at the elementary school, followed by the cutting of the 100th year birthday cake.

"We have invited our local, county, district and state leaders to attend the city festivities," Wells said. "This event will provide a wonderful home coming and I hope many are able to come back to help us celebrate."

Frances Warren and Jack Hawkins are working to collect LHS memorabilia for display at the reunion. Frances Warren plans to place many LHS items in old composite frames for display at the reunion. Jack and Retha Hawkins brought the maroon and gold velvet stage curtain to a recent centennial meeting and set up the large stage backdrop for review next door.

Nan Harrell Snider is publishing a Leachville Centennial Book for the event, which will include the Leachville city history, business and church histories and photos, family group photos, military photos, Leachville High School history and listings of all known classmates, with composites, class memories and photos. Photos of wing schools will also be added, which include Box Elder, Pawheen, Boynton and Rocky.

"We have been able to locate 38 old school annuals and have recorded all names listed in them, in class order," Snider said. "This has been no small feat. We were allowed to copy all the LHS composite photos at the BIC East Elementary for inclusion."

The deadline for photos and memorabilia to be turned in for inclusion in the Centennial book is March 23, and can be emailed to nhsnider@centurytel.net or mailed to 20212 Hwy. 18 E., Monette 72447. For more information call 870-486-2891 or 870-974-0224.

A Leachville School Variety Show will be held at the Melody Theatre beginning at 6 p.m. Moba Lee Miller will be coordinating this event. Hot dogs and popcorn will be available at the concession stand.

"This has become a Leachville alumni tradition," Miller said. "We have a lot of fun doing this. Classmates and their families always add a lot of fun to our reunion. I need people to come and share their talents with us. We like to leave everyone laughing."

If interested in presenting a performance, persons may contact Miller at 870-539-6966.

The Cave Dwellers will present the final touch to the day with a free fireworks display at the city park, behind the school, at 9 p.m.

Local churches will recognize centennial visitors during their morning worship services on Sunday, July 5.

The Centennial Committee is currently preparing a mass mail out to former Leachville classmates, slated to go out later this week. More than a thousand names and addresses have been secured, but there are many more unknown. Classmates are asked to contact one of the committee members for class name list and mailing instructions or contact the LHS website at http://www.Leachvillelions.com.

Terry Parnell serves as the Leachville Alumni webmaster.

"Many people keep in touch on our website and also on the two Leachville Facebook sites," Parnell said. "These include 'You know you grew up in Leachville if you remember...' and 'Leachville High School AR and Community.'"

"We are asking everyone to get involved in helping Leachville celebrate its centennial on July 3, 4, and 5 this year," Lloyd said. "We may have a lot of reunions but will never have another centennial."

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