MUG-Billy-McCord-CMYKMy this has been a busy week-end for me.  All the things I usually do were compounded by the 23rd Annual Sawmill Festival in Bruce.

Don’t misunderstand me it is not that I did not enjoy the Festival because I very much did.  I have been a part of the Festival because of my involvement in Rotary Club and the Bruce Chamber of Commerce.  I have no figures to go on but I very much believe we had more people visiting the festival than in recent years. Again without any concrete information I believe we had more vendors than we have had in recent years.

Some may want to know why I writing this article on the Sawmill Festival knowing it goes into at least two more counties.  I feel very comfortable doing so because I saw and visited with people I know from both counties adjourning Calhoun.  We were delighted to have visitors from surrounding counties.  If you did not attend this year make plans now to come to Bruce next year for the 24th Sawmill Festival.

Following our action the past two years the Bruce Rotary Club sold chances on a ‘Golden Boy” Rifle which was to be given away at “high noon” on Saturday morning.  High noon came and some of us went to the Gazebo for the drawing of the winner.  After shaking the ballots very well and mixing them very well in went a hand and out came the winning name.  It was none other than Bob Logan from Bruce who had just walked by and kept on going.

Several yelled “Come and get your rifle..” They ignored us as long as possible and then he realized he was indeed the winner.  I can’t make any promises but you might have an opportunity to get some chances on one next year. These are very nice rifles.

Much discussion took place among business leaders, civic clubs and others concerning bring in some well known band to play Friday night.  I was one of the ones who had some questions about spending that much money on a band when we  had local talent who were good.  Then we in the Rotary Club as asked to make a donation to secure The Bouffants out of Memphis to play Friday night.  We agreed to help and so did other Civic Clubs and business men and women.

Friday night arrived and The Bouffants took the stage. They played at least an hour and took a break.  Back on the stage they came.  The music was good.  The crowd was enthusiastic and so were The Bouffants.  A large applause came from the audience.  I had to get up and see what was happening.

Dr. Bruce Longest was on his feet keeping time to the music.  The crowd was really enjoying it.  Someone asked why I did not join the Dr. and I said “Because he would have to stop and resuscitate me.”  The Doctor did just fine and so did the Bouffants.

The Sawmill Festival is a natural for Bruce.  We are a lumber town with trees being our number 1 natural resource.  The Late Gayle Denley coined  the phrase, “Bruce, Mississippi where money grows in trees.”  We are proud of that fact and planning will begin very soon for the 24th Sawmill Festival.  Let me ask you to come and celebrate with us.

Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and a United Methodist Minister. He is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. He represents District 3 on the School Board, and is  President of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS 38915 or by e-mail at  

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