By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Many of the events and activities planned for this weekend’s celebration of Booneville’s 150th birthday bring back memories of that bygone era.
Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Friday in the heart of downtown at the old Booneville Hardware, which has been converted into a cultural center.
State and local officials will bring congratulatory messages, followed at 7 p.m. by area choirs performing.
“This celebration is a special treat because I was here in 1961 to celebrate the centennial as a boy,” said event chairman Tommy Cadle.
Throughout the day on Saturday many activities will have a nostalgic tone, evoking thoughts of yesteryear: a watermelon seed-spitting contest, old-fashioned games such as washers, horseshoes and others.
During this political season no community gathering would be complete without an old-fashioned political speaking, which begins at 11 a.m. on the courthouse square and continues throughout the day.
“We reprinted the 1961 Centennial Program that is chockfull of historical information and photographs,” Cadle said. “We also have a new publication that is kind of a snapshot history book of today and the past as well. We don’t claim it covers everything.”
The books, as well as a quilt and arts and crafts fair, will be available inside the Booneville Main Street Association office, which adjoins the Rails and Trails Museum in the Booneville Depot, and the museum also will be open for tours on Saturday.
Several downtown businesses will be open regular hours, offering special events as part of the sesquicentennial celebrations. Dickerson Furniture will present a quilt display; Boone’s Camp Antique Mall offers many period items; at the old Ben Franklin building – previously 2Day’s Treasures – Virgil Robinson will present a video of historic photos; and the Hillbilly Mall will offer free hot dogs and drinks, as well as a fun-filled tobacco spitting competition.
Local gardeners and growers are invited to bring produce to sell at a farmer’s market set up for the occasion.
Booneville 150th Anniversary Celebrations
– When: Begins 6 p.m. Friday; continues all day Saturday
– Where: Throughout downtown Booneville – Courthouse Square; Booneville Hardware; Boone’s Camp Antique Mall; Dickerson Furniture; Hillbilly Mall and other sites
– Information: Trudy Featherston, Booneville Main Street, (662) 416-3375