Verona Heritage Festival turns to politics

VERONA – This year’s Verona Heritage Festival will forgo one tradition in favor of another.
In the past, the festival has featured the re-enactment of the wedding between Elvis’ parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley. But this year, the wedding is being set aside to accommodate a long list of candidates for state and local offices.
“When they had it four years ago and tried to have the political speeches, it was too much on the agenda,” said Jimmy Stephens, organizer of the political rally. “They decided they didn’t want to try to overload the schedule.”
The political rally, held in years of statewide elections, has been part of the festival since 2003. And at this year’s festival on June 11, it will dominate the day’s activities, although it won’t be the only attraction.
The speeches will be interspersed with music from Kay Bain, Pay Per Blues, Dan Westmoreland, Becky McAlister and the Monday Night Pickers. Keri McMillin, Ms. Mississippi, will sing the national anthem to start the festival at 9 a.m.
Food vendors also will be on hand.
Stephens said the following candidates for statewide, regional and Lee County offices had confirmed their attendance as of Saturday:
• Governor: Hudson Holliday, Guy Dale Shaw, Ron Williams
• Lieutenant governor: Billy Hewes
• Attorney general: Steve Simpson
• Treasurer: Lynn Fitch, Lee Yancy
• Agriculture commissioner: Joel Gill, Max Phillips
• Secretary of state: Delbert Hosemann
• Public Service commissioner: Boyce Adams, Marvin Cox
• Transportation commissioner: Ray Minor, Mike Tagert
• District attorney: Trent Kelly, John Young
• Sheriff: Jim Johnson, Sam Piraino, Marty Rock, Dovie Outlaw Williams
• Tax assessor: Mark Weathers
• Tax collector: Leroy Belk, Danny Mitchell
• Circuit clerk: Joyce Loftin, Carolyn Mauldin
• Chancery clerk: Bill Benson and Pamela Derden
• County attorney: James Moore, Brian Neeley
• Coroner: Carolyn Gillentine-Green
• Superintendent of education: John McGaugh, Mike Scott, Robert Smith, Jimmy Weeks
• Supervisor, District 4: Tommie Lee Ivy
• Supervisor, District 5: Ken Dye, Billy Jo Holland and Joe McKinney

Heritage Festival
– Where: Main and College streets

– When: June 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

– Etc.: Bring your own lawn chairs; candidates who would like to rent booth space or buy an add in the festival booklet should call
(662) 401-4946.

Mike Tonos/NEMS Daily Journal