Back in time at Bodock

Go 200 years into the past in Pontotoc this week.
That’ll be easy to do at the 16th Annual Bodock Festival. This year’s festival will feature favorite activities, like the Bodock Post Throwing competition, as well as a few blasts from the past.
“It’s a lot of family fun,” said Millicent Seawright, chairman of the festival. “It’s family fun for Pontotoc County and the surrounding counties.”
The Town Square Post Office and Museum is sponsoring some events at the festival that will take folks from 2009 to 1809.
A dance and theater troupe of Chickasaw Indians, who are native to the area, will perform at 11 a.m. Saturday. There will be an official Welcome Back ceremony for the Chickasaws at 2 p.m., followed by a reenactment of explorer Meriwether Lewis’ bicentennial journey through Chickasaw land. The Chickasaws will perform again.
“Meriwether Lewis came through this area in 1809, and he asked for permission to cross Chickasaw land,” said Martha Jo Coleman, director of the museum. Actors will reenact that moment from 200 years ago at this year’s festival.
The museum also has exhibits on the Chickasaws and Lewis on display, and the museum will be open during the Bodock Festival. A group of reenactors, the Tombigbee Pioneer Group, will be camped out in front of the museum.

When and where
The festival kicks off Tuesday with the Bodock Banquet at the First Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Chamber of Commerce and all Pontotoc banks.
A golf tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Pontotoc Country Club.
There will also be a pancake breakfast at the downtown fire station on Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning at 6 a.m.
Vendors will set up on the square Friday.
The Band Blast, featuring bands of North Pontotoc, South Pontotoc and Pontotoc High Schools will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by the American flag drop over the county courthouse at 6 p.m.
The flag drop is always a highlight of each festival, Seawright said.
“Pontotoc has always been a very patriotic county, as are many counties in Northeast Mississippi,” she said. “Seeing that flag drop can bring tears to a lot of people’s eyes.”
Also on Friday, Kay Bain will perform at 6:30 p.m., and the Jack Curtis Band will perform at 9:30 p.m.
The Twilight Run is on schedule for Friday night as well.
Dr. Julian Prince will sign copies of his book, “Ackia,” at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Saturday continues with a pet show at 10 a.m., a puppet show and storytellers at noon and the Bodock Post Throw. An antique car show will be Saturday afternoon, as will a bike event, the Tour de Bodock.
The stage will be full of music all day Saturday, but the street dance gets kicked off with the Legends of the Blues at 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by Braden Gray & Loose Gravel at 8:30 p.m.
Children’s games and rides will be set up during the festival Friday and Saturday, too.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal