Fireworks and festivities in spite of showers

Mississippi’s Bicentennial, Independence Day
celebrated at Roosevelt

By Dustin Whitlock
dwhitlock@sctonline.net

Lisa Alford of Morton baked and iced a crisply drawn cake celebrating Mississippi’s 200th birthday.
There were readings by Representative Tom Miles of two winning poetry entries also celebrating the state’s bicentennial. The judges were split and there was a tie for first place. These are the winning poems.

My Mississippi
By Caley Dawkins

When I review my life as a Mississippi soul,
I come to the fact that I have a goal…
To let everyone know that Mississippi is supreme
In ways that other places can only dream.

We have cotton fields and dirt roads,
We have honeysuckle vines and loud singing tree toads.
We brag about magnolias and sweet tea,
But what about our muscadine vines and majestic pine trees?

And don’t forget our petrified forests and Indian mounds,
Museums, delta blues, and tiny hometowns.

We eat shrimp and grits from the gulf coast, chicken from Scott County, and the delta’s catfish abounds.
We grow corn, cotton, soybeans, and watermelons in every county around.

We’ve modernized along the way, but one thing stays true…
Our hospitality is number one in the red, white and blue.

“The hospitality state” has symbols like magnolias, mockingbirds, largemouth bass, and honeybees.
We hold fast to our favorites, and never falter from our beliefs.

From Elvis to Eudora Welty, our stars shine bright…
And how many more still hope to take flight?

To me, Mississippi will always be more than an outline on a chart.
To me, Mississippi is dear to my heart.

Home
By Jared Vardaman

Nestled in the dear southeast
(a conference beyond compare)
Stands tall our home,
Our landmass,
Our Mississippi,
And it’s standing oh so fair.

We’ve stood through storm,
through trial sore,
History tales the tale.
But we’ve stood taller each and every time;
Building and rebuilding,
Brick by brick
Nail by nail.

We stand tall for what we believe in;
We stand tall for all that is right.
We’ve seen the depths,
The valley low,
But our goal is taller than Woodall,
We’re reaching for untold heights.

And as our bicentennial passes,
We look back on all we’ve come through.
But with the past behind us, we’re looking forward.
We’re gaining ground.
Onward! To a journey new!

You see, my state is Mississippi
Home of hospitality,
Home of the blues,
It’s home to Elvis, Oprah, and the American dream
And it’s home to me and you.
Boat Parade
The rain came down as the boat parade made its way around Shadow Lake at Roosevelt State Park and thoroughly soaked the occupants. By the time they pulled in to dock on the eastern shore, beside the pier, a gap in the clouds had opened up and the rain gave up for the evening.
Taking first place in the parade were the Simpson County Redneck Yacht Club. The boat was dressed in honor of Mr. David Hart whose name was displayed on the side of the boat. Hart passed away June 25. The Hart family entered and won 2nd place last year.
The second place boat was Red White and Busy. The boat was entered by the Busby family of Morton.
The third place boat was The Pam, titled in honor of Roosevelt Park’s employee of over 20 years of the same name, and entered by the Holman family of Morton.
At about 8:45, the fireworks display began. The pyrotechnics filled the air with a curtain of smoke on the south end of the lake that stuck to the water and obscured the bank, creating a milky nebula of exploding stars.

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