Good Crowds for Annual Rector Labor Day Picnic
Celebrating Labor Day in Rector is a rich tradition which seems only to grow year after year. The 2014 picnic continued the trend with more fun events for current and former residents and first-time visitors to enjoy.
Though temperatures warmed into the 90s Monday, the bounty of shade at Rector Memorial Park and a steady breeze helped most in attendance find a comfortable spot to enjoy the surroundings and the many friends and families present.
The weekend effort generated $75,604.96 for Woodland Heights Cemetery, with some funds remaining to be included in the final tally, thanks to the efforts of an army of volunteers. The amount is approximately $5,100 more than accumulated last year, showing the annual celebration continues to grow while supporting Woodland Heights Cemetery.
"I thought it went really well," Teresa Roofe, one of the picnic's organizers and treasurer for the cemetery association said. "Everything seemed to be very smooth."
Roofe added she thought the carnival was "awesome" and heard numerous compliments on the programs of live music and the welcoming volunteers at the park.
Friday night fun included large crowds at the Rector Arena for the first night of world class rodeo action, but a strong storm shortened the events, with approximately an inch and one-half of rainfall and lightning sending crowds home early. The events continued unimpeded on Saturday, however, with a strong crowd returning for a night of fun at the arenda. Friday evening also featured the return of the popular Ultimate Oldies Show to the Rector Community Center.
There was a large crowd Saturday afternoon for the Rector High School Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon at the school gymnasium. Saturday morning featured the second Rector Labor Day 5K Walk/Run, which drew more than participants and supporters. The annual Classic Car, Truck and Tractor Show drew hundreds of "motorheads" and vintage vehicle enthusiasts to Memorial Park on Saturday, as well.
Rector Memorial Park was filled Sunday afternoon with those who enjoyed an early sampling of delicious barbecue and hamburgers and carnival rides (armbands provided an opportunity to ride again and again at a flat fee).
Three early pageants Sunday afternoon again brought to the Rector stage a bevy of beautiful young girls.
There was a huge crowd on hand Sunday night for the third annual Ms. Rector pageant.
Petite Miss Pageant
In the first pageant of the day Sunday, Brileigh Daniels Parson, the daughter of Aaron and Emily Parson of Piggott, was crowned Petite Miss Rector. First alternate is Hailey Brown, the daughter of Steven and Leslie Brown of Rector. Second alternate is Carissa Hallowell, the daughter of Carl and Carlie Hallowell. Third alternate is Libby Nicole Green, the daughter of April Green and Brad and Amber Green of Rector. Fourth alternate is Halen Kenna Miller, the daughter of Dustin and Heather Miller.
Preteen Miss Pageant
Crowned as Preteen Miss Rector in a mid-afternoon pageant Sunday was Sophia Lynn Hill, the nine-year-old daughter of Corbin and Shannon Hill of Rector. First alternate is Lexie Green, the 10-year-old daughter of Luke and Danielle Green. Harleigh Caroline Speer, the nigh-year-old daughter of Bekah Speer and Brandon and Lauren Wall, is second alternate. Third alternate is Morgan Garner, the 10-year-old daughter of Tracy and Amy Garner. Kara Hayes, the nine-year-old daughter of Rowdy and Tina Hayes, is fourth alternate.
Junior Miss Pageant
In the final pageant of the afternoon, Maggie Williams, the daughter of Travis and Shannon Williams of Piggott, was crowned Junior Miss Rector. First alternate and Miss Congeniality is Sophie Simmons, the daughter of Stephen and Jamie Simmons of Rector. Sawyer Hendrix, the daughter of David and Cobi Hendrix of Rector, is second alternate. Third alternate is Natalie Shelton, the daughter of Nathan and Stacy Shelton of Marmaduke. Grayson Robinson, the daughter of Steve and Julie Murray of Rector, is fourth alternate.
Ms. Rector Pageant
A large crowd returned to the park Sunday night for the Ms. Rector pageant for women ages 22 years and up who are single or married, graduated from Rector High School or currently live or work in Rector. Ms. Rector 2014, crowned before a large crowd at Memorial Park, is Holly Kirklin. First alternate is Brittany Hemphill. Rachel McNamee is second alternate. Third alternate is Allison Smart. Becky Lindsey was named fourth alternate.
Big Day Monday
The streets of Rector were filled Monday morning with vying for the best positions to watch the popular Labor Day parade. The parade route was crowded with people all along the mile-long route.
National Guardsmen carried the flags, and sirens blared as the parade started at Main and Third Streets. Director Daniel Van Aalsburg struck up the Rector High School band to lead the way for Grand Marshals Norman and Louise Shelton and a long processional to follow.
A large number of state and local candidates seeking various public offices were on hand to ride in trucks or cars, and beauty queens from near and far waved to the crowd. Children scurried to get candy thrown from parade vehicles. Beautiful floats, a long line of vintage antique cars and lots of horses rounded out the big parade.
The winner of the float competition was Pumpkin Hollow, whose entry included giant walking monsters, a mini pumpkin car and a hearse towing a morbid organist. Rector First United Methodist Church displayed a float filled with colorful flowers, taking second place. Third place went to Tool Central, which crafted a large wooden airplane which produced bubbles from its wings. Angie Banks won the bicycle decoration contest for her colorful entry.
Rector Memorial Park quickly filled with a crowd numbering into the thousands shortly after the parade. Mayor David Freeman offered a warm welcome to all in attendance, followed by Danny Ford welcoming the many candidates to the stage one at a time to speak to the gathered crowd. The RHS band took the stage following the guest speakers, performing selections from their upcoming marching season under the direction of drum major Nicholas Householder and director Daniel Van Aalsburg.
Winning the prize for the oldest people present at the picnic were longtime Rector residents Hughey and Mary Linam, who now reside in Wynne. Hughey is 100 and Mary will turn 101 on Thursday. The Linams also were honored as the longest married couple with 76 years together, uniting in matrimony on June 4, 1938.
Winnie and Reggie Hensey received the award for Farthest Traveled to attend the picnic. The couple, who live in County Offaly in the Midland region of Ireland, trekked 3,975 miles. The Henseys were visiting their friends, Karen and D. J. Moore, as part of a trip to the United States. The Henseys planned to stay in the area briefly before visiting other locations in America.
In what possibly is the most popular event of the day, beautiful babies and toddlers took the stage with adoring family members and friends smiling and waving on the front rows.
In the first contest, 11-month-old Caleb Branson, the son of Adam and Rachel Branson of Rector, was crowned Tiny Mr. Rector. First alternate is Bryson Tracer, the seven-month-old son of Blake Tracer and Hannah Sweaney. Jase Welch, the 10-month-old son of Justin and Lauren Welch, is third alternate.
Allison Caroline Wright, the 10-month-old daughter of Kenny and Monica Wright, was crowned Tiny Miss Rector. First alternate is Aubree Faith Bagwell, the 10-month-old daughter of Thomas and Charla Bagweel. Addison Diann Brannon, the six-month-old daughter of Jordan and Amanda Brannon, is second alternate. Third alternate is Willow Rose Brown, the six-month-old daughter of Chris and Raven Brown.
Winning the title of Baby Mr. Rector was Oakley Vangilder, the 14-month-old son of Mitch and Amy Vangilder. First alternate is Leighton Parson, the 17-month-old son of Aaron and Emily Parson. Reid Thompson, the 17-month-old son of Zack and Angelia Thompson, is second alternate. Third alternate is Kylen Elijah Clark, the 13-month-old son of Amanda Bailey and Emmitt Clark. Tyson Rece Davenport, the 14-month-old son of Austin and Misty Davenport, is fourth alternate.
Kollins DaVault, the 18-month-old daughter of David and Emily DaVault, was crowned Baby Miss Rector. First alternate is Maci Brown, the 16-month-old daughter of Steven and Leslie Brown. Marleigh Reese Lawrence, the 14-month-old daughter of J.R. and Brittany Loveless, is second alternate. Third alternate is Jaylene Scott, the 23-month-old daughter of Patrick and Samantha Scott.
Little Mr. Rector 2014 is Kyson Rabah, the two-year-old son od Aaron and Brittany Rabah. First alternate is Jaylan Branson, the two-year-old son of Adam and Rachel Branson. McCullay Gramling, the two-year-old son of Nathan and Sara Gramling, is second alternate.
Madelyn Walton, the four-year-old daughter of Daniel and Jennifer Walton of Kennett, was crowned Little Miss Rector. First alternate is Ellee Vincent, the three-year-old daughter of Matt and Angela Vincent of Paragould. Second alternate is Rylee Cossey, the four-year-old daughter of Lee and Jessica Cossey of Brookland. Layla Small, the three-year-old daughter of Jackie Small of Rector, is third alternate.
Miss Rector Pageant
Always a highlight of the evening, the 2014 Miss Rector Pageant featured a lineup filled with beautiful young ladies.
Winning the crown was Haven Cagle, the 18-year-old daughter of David and Karen Cagle. First alternate is Lindsey Shelton, the 17-year-old daughter of Michelle and Greg Ward and the late David Shelton. Rachel Lampkin, the 19-year-old daughter of Jerry Lampkin and Debbie Storie, is second alternate. Third alternate is Emily Clayton, the 17-year-old daughter Cary Clayton and Sam and Cheri Boyd. Colby Lynch, the 16-year-old daughter of Bryan and Angel Lynch, is fourth alternate. Ashley Aiken, the 17-year-old daughter of Charles and Christine Aiken, was announced as Miss Congeniality, as voted on by the participants.
Serving as escorts for the pageant were RHS seniors Mason McCluskey and Landon Crancer.
Winner of a $1,000 drawing at the close of the day was Tony Lockhart of Rector.