Rain canceled the Viola Valley Homecoming tractor pull scheduled for Friday night, but didn’t dampen activities for the Silver Jubilee celebration Saturday in downtown Viola.
Viola Valley Homecoming president Trent Prater estimated over 1,000 people had attended homecoming as of noon yesterday.
A parade kicked off the celebration Saturday morning with the Warren County High School Band and Pioneerettes leading the way.
The Coffee County Button Club took first place for its float highlighting the 25th Viola Valley celebration. Large posters were decorated with pictures and information showcasing homecomings from years past.
Covenant Fellowship Church’s float placed second with a tent, deer and outdoor theme.
Outdoor Ministries’ float placed third. It was a boat with boys fishing and featured a sign proclaiming Outdoor Ministries is “introducing kids to God’s creation.”
The parade featured many antique cars and tractors, as well as the ever-popular multitude of people riding four-wheelers.
Live animals were abundant in the parade as many people, young and old, rode horses. Ray Kozak entertained the crowd by performing rope tricks as he rode his horse in the parade.
Ed Bradford led the way as his border collie, Trixie, herded sheep along the parade route.
Three separate wagons were pulled by teams of mules.
Opening ceremonies were held following the parade at the gazebo on town square with JROTC students from WCHS presenting the flags while the “Star Spangled Banner” was played over speakers.
“The sun is shining and a breeze is blowing,” Prater said yesterday afternoon. “We hope it is enough to dry the ground so we can hold the lawnmower pull in the grandstands.”
Prater said he had been busy all day relocating things from the grandstands to other parts of town. The popular On the Road Again Show, which showcases Viola citizens mimicking country singing stars, was relocated to the area in front of Viola Market and the post office.
Homecoming volunteer Travis Swann was very pleased with how things were progressing despite Friday’s rain. “Everything is going well. We have a really good crowd today and so far everything is going as scheduled,” he said.