Leachville Centennial plans near completion

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Plans near completion for the upcoming Leachville Centennial Parade to be held July 4.

Parade enthusiasts gathered at the home of Larry and Diana Sanders on Sunday, May 24, to review parade entries and promote upcoming centennial events.

Pictured are, from left: Michael Burrier, Larry Sanders, Moba Lee Miller, Barbara Lloyd, Paula Bowen and Joey Barnes. (Photo provided/Nan Snider)

A historic wooden wagon has been restored by Sanders. A large American flag waves from the back of the wagon. Horseshoes have been placed along the side for easy entry.

"It is a project recovery," Sanders said. "It was originally built to be pulled by mules, but that proved too dangerous for us so we just use a vehicle. It can carry nine children or six adults comfortably. Kids ride in it when they visit our home, many who have come roping with our son Heath."

"Plans are for our Centennial Grand Marshal Steve Clark to ride in the wagon during the parade, along with other dignitaries," Moba Lee Miller said. "Mayors and leaders from all surrounding towns have been invited to join us for our special weekend. We hope a lot of people will build floats in memory of their high school classes, or depicting some period in Leachville's history."

"We are a small town but have many people who got their big start in Leachville," said Centennial Parade Chairman Paula Bowen. "We want people from all walks of life represented in our parade, to show our city's great diversity in occupations, customs and cultures. We want our history and future well represented. We are looking for entries to include floats, antique vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, horses, and even marchers. There is a place for everyone."

Joey Barnes plans to drive his fully restored 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner in the parade. The car is painted in a bright bronze fire color, and always stands out in a crowd.

"My son and I just love old vintage cars," Barnes said. "We both plan to drive ours in the centennial parade and encourage all our car show friends to do the same. People are drawn to these antique cars and never tire of seeing them in parades."

Michael Burrier will have his 08 Ultra Classic Harley Davidson motorcycle in the parade as well.

"Parades are always a good place for bike riders to gather and enjoy the day," Burrier said. "I am encouraging bikers from all around Northeast Arkansas to join us at the centennial parade, in a great show of numbers and variety of styles. Each bike seems to have its own personality, just like the riders do. We love to gather at special events and just visit with friends."

"We will have many celebrations come and go, but we will only have one centennial," said Centennial Chairman Barbara Lloyd. "We are celebrating our 100th birthday in style and want it to be a special event from start to finish. We will cruise main, have a sock hop, shows at the theatre, and then visit all day with other Leachville high school classmates on Saturday, July 4."

Leachville Centennial plans include festivities for July 3, 4 and 5. Friday, July 3, events include Dragging Main at 5 p.m., Sock Hop at old gym from 6-8 p.m., and Gospel Show at the Melody Theater beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, July 4, the parade will line up in front of BIC Elementary and Junior High starting at 9 a.m., with parade beginning at 10 a.m. The All-Class Reunion will begin at 11 a.m. in the elementary cafeteria, with a special centennial program led by Mayor Ralph Wells. Lunch on campus will be available from Bigg Butts catering. A school variety show will begin at the Melody Theatre at 6 p.m. The day's festivities will end with a fireworks display at the city park at 9 p.m. provided by the Cave Dwellers.

On Sunday, July 5, local churches will recognize visitors during morning services.

For more information parade entrants are asked to contact Paula Bowen at 870-595-4485, Joey Barnes 870-761-2695, Michael Burrier 501-749-2251, Barbara Lloyd 870-539-6506 or Moba Lee Miller 870-539-6966.

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