Leachville Harvest Festival draws large crowd
The 2016 Leachville Harvest Festival was a great success with perfect weather and a large crowd. Leachville's main street was filled with vendors offering a variety of food and specialty items. The fun spilled over to the next block as games, train rides, car show and gospel music were held on the shaded lot behind city hall.
The day started early with a poker run. A parade started at 10 a.m. with Leachville Police Department and Fire Department participating, along with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department, bicycle riders, antique cars and trucks, floats, ATVs and more. State Rep. Dave Wallace and wife Karen served as grand marshals for the parade. Winners of the parade included Denise Latting, first place; First Baptist Church, second place; and Carie Hawkins, third place.
Entertainment included music by Ben Coulter, Psychotic Harmony, and gospel music thoughout the day.
Doug Master served as emcee at the bandstand.
Following the parade, Mayor Ralph Wells welcomed everyone to Leachville.
"The Good Lord has shined on us today giving good weather," Mayor Wells said. "We are glad to have you here and hope you enjoy the day with us."
Mayor Wells went on to commend the committee members for organizing the festival.
"Lisa Baldridge and her committee did a fine job," he said. "Having these festivals unites our community. We have a wonderful town. We love Leachville and we want to see it grow. Again, thanks to all of you for being here and supporting Leachville."
Committee members include chairman Baldridge, Chris Cloninger, Tommie Jo Kendrick, Tammy Stockton, Shona Johnson, Michael and Kim Webster, Shelley Greer, Mark and Becky Thrasher.
Mark Thraher sang the National Anthem.
"It is an honor to be asked to be the grand marshal," Rep. Wallace said. "Today is about my hometown, Leachville. When I was in Vietnam, fighting, I thought of my hometown daily. This festival is our tradition. Leachville represents America. This is what America is all about. I hope all of you have a good day."
Activities throughout the day included a car show, horseshoe tournament, water balloon toss, gospel music, live bands, hot dog eating contest, cutest pet contest, multimedia scavenger hunt, lip sync battle, cake walk, basketball, dunking booth, cutest kid contest. The day ended with a street dance for all ages. Prizes were given away throughout the day.
The Harvest Festival (formerly Watermelon Festival) has been an event in Leachville for many years and the 2016 event was among the best.