Rector Labor Day Festivities at Hand

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Drive South with Lori Dial and members Mikey Dickerson, Brad Owen and Shane Mullen

The 72nd annual Rector Labor Day Picnic is at hand and excitement is building to a crescendo for the beloved community event. The picnic and its associated lineup of activities continue to grow, serving as one of the most impressive small town celebration one can find anywhere.

Picnic chairman Nate Henderson and a list of volunteers which reads like a Census have put in countless hours of preparation and work to make this picnic a worthy successor to the previous celebrations which have helped define the Rector community.

First held in 1941, the Labor Day Picnic has for years provided funds for maintenance of Rector's beautiful Woodland Heights Cemetery, located on the scenic hills of Crowley's Ridge northwest of town.

Big Rodeo Kicks It Off

As has been the case for several years, activities related to Rector's Labor Day celebration will again encompass four full days, with the Rector Saddle Club hosting a Ranch Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 at the Rector Saddle Club Arena, located behind the Rector National Guard Armory on Highway 49.

Tickets at the gate will be $5, with children six and under admitted free with an adult. Negative coggins is required for all horses.

"Please come ride in the Grand Entry and bring your children for a night of family fun," said a club spokesperson. There are bleachers at the arena, but the popular event draws a huge crowd, so those attending are encouraged to take lawn chairs.

Classic Car, Truck and Tractor Show

The Classic Car, Truck and Tractor Show will mark its second year in 2013. The show will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at Rector Memorial Park. Best of Show awards will be presented to a car, pickup and tractor during the event.

Owners may register their entries from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. the day of the event. Entry is $15. Those wanting more information may contact director Jade Simpson at (870) 236-0587.


The ever-popular carnival will set up early at Rector Memorial Park, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, has been declared as Armband Day, providing rides at discount prices. Armbands also may be used from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 2.

Sunday will also feature the first four of the annual beauty pageants.

Girls ages 5 through second grade will compete for the title of Petite Miss Rector in a pageant from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, on stage at Rector Memorial Park. Sunday dress is required. Entry fee is $20. Contact information for the pageant directors is: Jordan Cornelison (870) 595-4388 (evening only) or Shelly and Emily Cornelison (870) 240-5354 (evening only).

The Preteen Miss Rector pageant for girls in the third through fifth grades will be from 3 to 4 p.m. with Sunday dress required. Entry fee is $20. Pageant director Sarah Fannin may be contacted at (870) 595-4342. Practice for Preteen Miss Rector will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 on the main stage. Any contestants unable to attend practice are asked to arrive at the contest 15 minutes early.

The Junior Miss Rector pageant for girls in the sixth through ninth grades will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday dress or casual party dress is required and the entry fee is $20. Director Courtney Shepard may be contacted at (870) 897-6261. Practice for the Junior Miss Rector pageant will be at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. Practice is mandatory. No contestants will be accepted after practice has been held. The entry fee and forms must be turned in at the practice.

The Ms. Rector pageant for single or married women ages 22 and up will begin at 8 p.m. Formal dress is required and the entry fee is $20. The pageant is open to women who graduated from Rector High School or those who currently live or work in Rector. Director Jade Simpson may be contacted at (870) 236-0587. Practice for the Ms. Rector pageant will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. Pre-registration is required.


Rector will come alive in the Labor Day parade, to begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2 at the corner of Third and Main Streets. Also included in the always-colorful parade will be beautiful floats, the Rector High School Marching Band, politicians, antique cars, beauty queens, horses, clowns and much more.

Grand Marshal of the 2012 parade will be Jane Holifield, who has worked for many years as a volunteer in the Rector community and is known by many for her fun, outgoing personality.

The parade will proceed south on Main Street, turn east on Highway 49 and go by Rector Health and Rehabilitation before ending near the park.

No ATVs or golf carts are allowed in the parade, but bicycles are encouraged. Those who want more information about the parade may call 595-3501.

Monday Pageants

Four baby pageants will be held Monday, Sept. 2. Entry is $20, with participants asked to pre-register prior to Labor Day. Registration should be confirmed at least 15 minutes prior to each pageant. Pageant directors Harmony and Haven Cagle may be contacted at (870) 595-4625 (evenings only). Tiny Mr. Rector for boys ages newborn to 12 months will begin at 11 a.m. Tiny Miss Rector for girls ages newborn to 12 months will begin at 11:45 a.m. Baby Mr. Rector for boys ages 13 to 23 months will begin at 12:30 p.m. Girls ages 13 to 23 months will take part in Baby Miss Rector at 1:15 p.m.

Two toddler pageants will be held in the afternoon. Boys ages two to four years will take part in Little Mr. Rector at 2 p.m. Little Miss Rector for girls two to four will be held at 2:45 p.m. The Toddler pageants are under the director of Mary and Jessica Garner. Entrants are asked to call (870) 783-0097 to pre-register. Casual or Sunday dress is required for the pageants. Entry fees are $20.

The annual Miss Rector pageant will begin at 8 p.m. All contestants will be given a business sponsor, who will pay the $25 entry fee. Director Jade Simpson may be contacted at (870) 236-0587. The Miss Rector contest is open to any girl in the 10th grade to 21-years-old who has never been married and never had children. Contestants must attend school in the Rector School District or must have graduated from the Rector School District. Formal dress is required. Practice for the Miss Rector pageant will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, on stage at the park. This year, Miss Rector will receive a $1,000 prize in memory of Colleen Ford Graves.


The celebration will also feature numerous live performances. Drive South Lori Dial will perform before and after Sunday's pageants.

Monday will feature gospel performances by The Dooleys, formerly of Rector, at 4:30 p.m. Highway 49 will play country favorites beginning at 5:30 p.m. Nashville Skyline will play at 7 p.m. and following the Miss Rector contest on the side stage at the park.

The following volunteers, along with friends and family, are operating stands during the annual celebration:

Darrell Speer, hot dog; Freddie and Gregg Sain, sno-cone; Rector Church of Christ, barbecue; Rector First Baptist Church, barbecue; Liberty Bank, bank; Todd and Danny Ford, masters of ceremony; Ron and Nancy Kemp, visitor awards; Simmons, Essman and Scott families, barbecue; April Lindsey and Barbi Anderson, raffle; Rector First General Baptist Church, hamburger; Matt Mills, bingo; Anthony Rowton, tickets and armbands and Shavalia family, kitchen.

"We have wonderful volunteer support each year," chairman Nate Henderson said. "In total, we'll have about 400 people volunteering during the picnic, and it takes all of us to make this happen each year."

Ultimate Oldies Show Set for Friday

A special performance at the Rector Community Center will help concertgoers beat the heat and forget about their worries thanks to the smooth, timeless sounds of The Ultimate Oldies Show. Set for a 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 start, the performance will feature the ultra-popular lineup of singers, s band members and talented technicians all working together to turn the clock back to the '50s, '60s and '70s for an evening of feel-good fun and fond remembrances.

The Ultimate Oldies Show has created a faithful fanbase in the area through their sold-out performances at The Collins Theatre in Paragould. The production averages four shows annually at Paragould, with every seat filled soon after the performance is first announced.

"They are by far one of the best groups I've ever seen anywhere," Rector Community Center director Linda Robinson said. "We're so excited to have this show come back to Rector. Last year's concert was amazing. So many people told us how much they enjoyed it. We're very fortunate to have the Ultimate Oldies here, and expect a big crowd to turn out."

The Ultimate Oldies Show is lending the considerable talents of its members to the ongoing effort to raise funds for the community center. The center has benefitted from recent maintenance work, with the special performance set to raise additional funds for future projects and updates.

The group performs around 40 classic favorites including "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "Rock Around the Clock," "It's in His Kiss," "Be My Baby," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and many, many more memorable songs sure to strike a chord with fans of all ages. The show includes singers Ryan Fisher, Suzie Freligh, Shannon Freeman, Chandler Gill, Lori Dial, Craig Morris, Sam Morris, Savannah Morris, Donna Rhodes and Richie Williams and musicians Mark Owen (guitar), Joey Pruett (bass), Teddy Hoke (drums), Josh Mobley (trumpet), Josh Poff (trumpet), Ken Wadley (keyboard) and Michael Newson (saxophone).

Tickets for the event are $15 each. Those interested may purchase tickets in advance at the water department office or community center in Rector. Persons living out-of-town may call Robinson at (870) 595-3035 to arrange for tickets to be picked up at the door the evening of the concert.

"These tickets will go fast," Robinson said. "Anyone wanting tickets for the show is encouraged to buy them in advance. We've had people call from all over to buy advance tickets already."

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