Labor Day Celebrated in Rector
Celebrating Labor Day in Rector is a tradition rich with history for those in attendance. Many return to Rector for the yearly event filled with fun, food and reuniting with loved ones.
The 76th annual Labor Day Picnic was a great success, raising $70,430.30 for the Woodland Heights Cemetery, thanks to an army of volunteers. Temperatures in the 90's made a heat-filled weekend, but locals, home-comers and visitors alike flocked to the Rector Memorial Park to celebrate in style as pageants, carnival rides and rodeos entertained the masses.
Friday's events began early with the Hall of Fame golf tournament, which raised $3,900. Friday evening held two completely different events, the Ultimate Oldies show and the rodeo. Fun could be found within large crowds at both events. The rodeo also hosted a large crowd Saturday evening.
Saturday's events opened with the annual Helping Hands 5K Run/Walk. Three hundred participants took part for a good cause. A large crowd gathered at the RHS gym in the afternoon to honor the new RHSSHOF inductees at a dessert reception. An ice cream social was also held at the downtown central park in the evening by Rector Downtown Central.
Children came out in droves Sunday as the carnival opened, and a large crowd gathered for the first evening of the annual pageants, which included the very popular Ms. Rector pageant.
Petite Miss Pageant
In the first Sunday pageant Halen Miller was crowned Petite Miss Labor Day 2015. Miller is the daughter of Dustin and Heather Miller of Paragould. First alternate is Brynlee Rabah, the daughter of Aaron and Brittany Rabah of Rector. Ivy Benson, the daughter of Dustin and Nicole Benson of Qulin, is second alternate. Third alternate is Kiersten Dunson, the daughter of Tony and Erica Dunson of Rector.
Pre-teen Miss Pageant
Crowned as Pre-teen Miss Rector in a mid-afternoon pageant was Liza Priggel. She is the daughter of Joey and Heather Priggel of Portageville. Isabella Moseley, the daughter of David and Christina Moseley of Rector, is first alternate. Second alternate is Emma Holmes, the daughter of Chad and Christine Holmes of Rector. Third alternate is Libby Green, the daughter of Brad and Amber Green of Rector.
Junior Miss Pageant
In the final afternoon pageant Sophie Simmons was crowned Junior Miss Labor Day 2015. She is the daughter of Stephen and Jamie Simmons of Rector. First alternate is Sawyer Hendrix, the daughter of Cobi and David Hendrix of Rector. Maddy Taylor, the daughter of Clay and Nicole Taylor of Corning, is second alternate. Third alternate is Lexie Green, the daughter of Luke and Danielle Green of Rector.
Ms. Rector Pageant
A large crowd gathered to the park to enjoy the annual Ms. Rector pageant for women 22-years-old or more. Crowned as Ms. Rector was Sarah Hicks, wife of Josh Hicks and mother of Kannon Hicks. First alternate was Shawna Bucy, wife of Scott Bucy and mother of Emma, Lydia, and Jerron. Second alternate was Destinei Heathcott. Third alternate was Jane Pruett-Foster, mother of Billy, Jane and Becky and randmoter of Derek, Destinei, Eternitei, Drake, Lastin, Dorothy, Levi, Jaylee and Jerico. Fourth alternate was Sherri Douglas, wife of Jeff Douglas.
The streets of Rector came alive Monday morning with people bustling around looking for the perfect spot to watch the annual parade. People crowded the mile long parade route leading to Memorial Park.
Sirens blared as area fire departments and police departments began the parade.
Band director Daniel Van Aalsburg struck up the Rector High School marching band introducing grand marshal Bobby Tracer and a long processional of antique cars, horses and floats.
Winning first place float was from the First United Methodist Church entitled "Faith Under Construction." Second place was a float by Smith Chapel and third was Rector First Baptist.
The parade ended at Rector Memorial Park and the park quickly filled with a crowd numbering in the thousands.
Local politicians took the stage first thanking the crowd for allowing them to serve, and Mayor Teresa Roofe welcomed the crowd. The RHS band then took the stage to entertain the massive crowd.
Winning the prize for the oldest people present were Hughey Linam and Cleta Simmons. Simmons is a longtime Rector resident and Linam, who now resides in Wynne, is formerly from Rector. Linam is 101-years-old, and Simmons is 102-years-old. Longest married couple was Hughey and Mary Linam, who have been married for 77 years. Longest distance traveled was Timmy Lyles, who journeyed 4,150 miles from Makaha, Hawaii.
The very popular baby and toddler contests were broken down into six age groups this year.
Crowned Tiny Miss Rector was Presley Parrish, the daughter of Ashley Parrish of Rector. First alternate was Jocelyn Shavalia, the daughter of Erick and Malorie Shavalia of Rector. Maleigha Weber, the daughter of Mackenzie Smith and Joseph Bozarth of Paragould, was second alternate.
Rexton Thompson was crowned Tiny Mr. Rector. He is the son of Zack and Angelica Thompson of Paragould. Desmond Allen, the son of Jeremiah and Kylie Allen of Paragould, is first alternate. Second alternate is Alex Estes, the six-month-old son of Keith and Hailey Estes of Piggott.
Crowned Baby Miss Rector was Harper Anders, the daughter of Brydon and Brooke Anders of McDougal. Braylee Chambers, the daughter of Michael and Brittany Chambers of Conway, was first alternate. Second alternate was Sophie Matheney, the daughter of Seth and Katie Matheney of Rector.
Caleb Branson was named Baby Mr. Rector. He is the 23-month-old son of Adam and Rachel Branson of Rector. First alternate was Silas Chambers. He is the son of Michael and Brittany Chambers of Conway. Bostyn Milam, the son of Josh and Brittany Milam of Marmaduke, was third alternate.
Ada Dralle was crowned Little Miss Rector. She is the daughter of Mike and Courtney Dralle of Pekin, Ill. First alternate was Addison Lopez, the daughter Louis and Ashley Lopez of Rector. Second alternate was Peyton Farmer, the daughter of Nikki and Roy Farmer of Harrisburg.
Jaylan Branson was named Little Mr. Rector. He is the son of Adam and Rachel Branson. Preston Thompson, the two-year-old son of Zack and Angelica Thompson of Paragould, was first alternate. Second alternate was Leighton Parson, the two-year-old son of Aaron and Emily Parson.
The baby pageants were followed by entertainment from The Dooleys, The Lucky Brothers and Drive South Lori Dial with Finley Watkins.
Many people were drawn back to the picnic when the Miss Rector pageant began Monday night.
Rachel Lampkin was crowned Miss Rector 2015. She is the daughter of Jerry and Sheila Lampkin and Debbie Storie. First alternate was Victoria Hill, the daughter of Corbin and Shannon Hill. Colby Lynch, the daughter of Bryan and Angela Lynch, was named second alternate. Third alternate was Amy Dement, the daughter of Stephen and Sandra DeMent. Megan March, the daughter of Rebecca Ellis and the late Mark March, was fourth alternate. All contestants of the Miss Rector pageant were required to have graduated from or attend the Rector School District.
The evening closed with the annual $1,000 drawing, which was won by Ethan Simmons of Rector.