Celebrating fall, family and community

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 11, 2016

During the fourth week of October each year, the members of Picayune Main Street, Inc. and the Greater Picayune Arts Council sponsors two family safe community entertainment events, i.e. the 2016 Fall Festival, an array of fairy tales and colorful characters, and the Blues & Heritage Festival, an evening street party of musical memories and dancing.

The Fall Festival started in Picayune five years ago through the efforts of GPAC member Beverly Elston in memory of her sister who created the colorful props of the children’s fairy tales.

This year the event was passed on to the artistic care and organizational skills of Jaime McDonald-Marshall. She, along with the aid of Ms. Elston and GPAC President Donna Aguilar, continued the annual community fun on October 21-23 at Jack Read Park on Goodyear Boulevard.

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For a nominal fee of $1 children were entertained and their imaginations enhanced by costumed volunteers from GPAC, the Picayune Writers Group, Poplarville Storytellers Guild, Gold Quill, and the Royal Writers. Even parents stopped to listen to the fables they had grown up with but hadn’t heard so artfully told for many years. Attendees were encouraged to wear costumes as well.

The Annual Fall Festival is another of many well-attended community events sponsored by the collectively talented and community minded Greater Picayune Arts Council.

On Oct. 22, another active mercantile organization, Picayune Main Street, Inc., held its 9th annual Blues & Heritage Festival. The program started promptly at 3 p.m. with an opening speech by our mayor, Ed Pinero, and an invocation by the St. Barnabas Pastor, Fr. John Filkins.

Main Street Director, Reba Beebee, took to the mic to show appreciation and give credit to the more than 25 sponsors who made this entertaining evening possible for the Pearl River County community and its neighbors.

This year’s set began with the local talent of Gary Wilton with his band Southern Sound and guest singer, Sarah Unbehagen.

The headliner of the evening was Vince Vance, along with two of his Valianettes who hail from Picayune. Vince also brought along Al ‘Carnival Time’ Johnson and Sweet Lillie Madison, Miss Senior Texas.

During Vince Vance’s performance, the energetic performer got into the crowd to encourage audience members to get out of their lawn chairs and up from the bleachers provided by the city and get on the dance floor.

As usual, the total excitement is incredible both on and off stage. Some of us were even pulled on stage by the incredible Vince Vance to join in the singing.

The Boulevard Cruisers put on a vintage car show on West Canal and paraded up and down Goodyear Boulevard like old times.

As an activity to encourage young singers, Micky Penton and The Boulevard Cruisers sponsored an Invitational Showcase and Scholarship Competition. The four contestants, ages 11 to 19, were invited to perform before the vast audience, then were presented with scholarships and awards.

Former and current winners of the Senior America Pageants were presented to the crowd by our local awardee, Bonnie Hughes.

The crowd swells to a few hundred happy concert goers every year.

And all of this is offered to the community totally free. This, too, is only one of the many activities organized by Picayune Main Street, Inc. and made available for the entertainment of the Pearl River County Community and their neighbors and visitors.

A big thank you to these dedicated civic-minded organizations.

By Lynn Adams Bazre’