Get your mules and tractors ready as the annual Viola Valley Homecoming celebration is set for this weekend.
There are some scheduling changes this year with the popular On the Road Again Show taking the stage Friday night at 8:30 p.m., instead of its usual Saturday night performance.
The truck and tractor pull has been moved to Saturday night at 7 p.m. Organizers say the move is to better accommodate out-of-town pullers who had trouble working on Friday and making it to a Friday night competition.
The Viola Valley Homecoming Parade keeps its traditional Saturday morning time slot and is set to begin at 9 a.m. with lineup starting at 8 a.m.
Two Viola community leaders who passed away over the last year will be recognized during opening ceremonies set for 9:45 a.m. Saturday on Viola Town Square.
Viola volunteer fire chief and Viola Mayor Kevin Lawrence died May 5, 2013. Longtime Charlie Daniels impersonator with the On The Road Again Show Douglas Jacobs died Dec. 30, 2012. Both men were former Viola Valley Commission presidents.
Also recognized during homecoming as Viola’s Citizen of the Year is 105-year-old Frankie Winton, who grew up during a much different era. Before marrying, Mrs. Winton traveled to work as a school teacher in Pocohontas by horse and buggy.
After marrying husband Ralph on Dec. 23, 1930, she had three girls and worked diligently on the family farm. Her duties included cooking, gardening, canning, milking, caring for chickens, selling eggs, stuffing beds with feathers, and other chores. She cooked for as many as 15 men on a wood-burning stove during wheat thrashing season.
A longtime member of Viola Church of Christ, Mrs. Winton was alive for both world wars and remembers when polio was a devastating disease affecting children in the Viola area.