Annual Rector Labor Day Picnic Held

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Crowned Miss Rector for 2017 Monday evening was Clara Benito (center). She is a junior at Rector High and an exchange student from Spain, living with Ashley and Tommy Willhite. This year's court included, from left: fourth alternate Jaydin Wilson, a sophomore at RHS and daughter of Michele and Ryan Wilson; second alternate Sawyer Hendrix, a junior at RHS and the daughter of David and Cobi Hendrix; Miss Rector Clara Benito; first alternate Shaylynn Eubanks, a 2016 RHS graduate, a member of the United States Air Force and daughter of Shea Brooks and Clint Eubanks; and third alternate Colby Lynch, a sophomore at Arkansas State University and the daughter of Bryan and Angel Lynch.
TD photo/Jane Gatewood

The Rector Labor Day Picnic truly has become a full weekend of activities and fun for both local residents and thousands of visitors.

The festivities begin with the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame golf tournament Friday morning and run all the way through the crowning of Miss Rector on Monday night.

In between are other major events such as the Oldies concert on Friday night, the big 5K run Saturday morning, the RHSSHOF luncheon on Saturday, the Ice Cream Social on Saturday night, youth pageants on Sunday afternoon, Ms. Rector Pageant on Sunday night and, of course, all the traditional activities of the Labor Day Picnic on Monday. Interspersed are numerous class reunions and informal gatherings of friends and families throughout the community.

The 76th annual picnic was no exception in terms of success and raising supporting funds for the Woodland Heights Cemetery. Mild temperatures have been in effect in this area for more than a week and the weather was ideal for this year's big event.

"I thought the picnic went great," said event chairman Nate Henderson. "We couldn't have asked for better weather. As always, our great volunteers did a tremendous job answering the call to help out for a great cause.

"The parade was amazing this year. I felt the crowd watching the parade was one of the biggest ever. Our carnival was great this year. I heard several kids talking about how much fun they had this year. We are negotiating with the same amusement group right now and, hopefully, we can get a Sunday armband time back on the schedule."

Henderson said preliminary reports show a revenue of $57,579 this year.

Crowned Miss Rector this year was Clara Benito. She is a junior at Rector High and an exchange student from Spain, living with Ashley and Tommy Willhite. This year's court included first alternate Shaylynn Eubanks, a 2016 RHS graduate, she's a member of the United States Air Force and daughter of Shea Brooks and Clint Eubanks; second alternate Sawyer Hendrix, a junior at RHS and the daughter of David and Cobi Hendrix; third alternate Colby Lynch, a sophomore at Arkansas State University and the daughter of Bryan and Angel Lynch, and fourth alternate Jaydin Wilson, a sophomore at RHS and daughter of Michele and Ryan Wilson.

Right after the pageant the drawing for $1,000 concluded the picnic. This year's winner is Terry Moore of Paragould.

The big parade Monday morning rolled down Main Street and then Highway 90 before concluding at the picnic grounds. Numerous politicians, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson, participated in the parade and then made comments at the park. Float winners were, in order, First Baptist Church, First General Baptist Church and Cougar 4-H Club. Jared Green was the bicycle winner. Leland Blackshare and Charles Manchester were named grand marshals of the parade in honor of their long-term support

of the picnic and their tireless work at Rector Memorial Park.

Mayor Teresa Roofe made welcoming remarks to kick off activities at the park and the Rector High School band provided a rousing concert. There was outstanding musical entertainment at the park all day and, of course, those attending enjoyed great food at all the stands manned by Rector's great "army" of volunteers.

Several pageants were held Monday as a conclusion to those that took place Sunday afternoon. Photos of all the pageants, including Ms. Rector, may be found inside this week's print edition.

Also appearing in this week's issue are results of the RHSSHOF golf tournament and the 5K run, sponsored by the Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation.

It was another great chapter in a highly-successful community festival that continues in a strong manner because of the many hours of volunteer planning and work. As has been noted by organizers, everyone knows his or her job and "steps up to the plate" to get it done each year.

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