Piggott Fourth of July Picnic Plans Complete

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Members of the board of the Piggott Cemetery Association show-off the big check symbollic of the three $5,000 drawings to be held at the close of this year's Fourth of July Picnic. Pictured are, from left: Brant Tanner, Fred Ort, Dan Winberry, Sharon Tillman, Bobbi Johnson, John James and Scott Hartwell.

Those attending the 90th edition of the Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Homecoming can look forward to the full slate of traditional activities on Tuesday, July 4. Organizers of the local fundraiser have also been busy making improvements to the picnic grounds, and have announced several new attractions and offerings for the two day event.

“We've done a lot of work at the picnic grounds in preparation for this year's picnic,” Cemetery Association President Fred Ort noted. “We've painted all the booths and poured new concrete floors in three additional stands, including two that serve food in order to reduce the dust.”

He also reports a new electric panel was installed to serve the carnival rides, and the new lemonade stand has been screened-in.

Army veteran Tom Sneed has been chosen to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2017 Piggott Fourth of July Picnic Parade.
TD photos/Tim Blair

“The new lemonade/popcorn stand is in the booth closest to the stage, and it's being operated by the Piggott Mohawk football team and coaches,” he added.

Another change this year will be in the kitchen, as Three Little Pigs Catering will be serving the meal from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“They'll be serving the traditional items, along with some new things as well,” Ort added. “We think people are really going to like the expanded menu that's offered this year.”

Organizers are also providing use of the golf cart which is used at the cemetery for shuttling visitors.

“The golf cart will be available all day by request through the bank,” Ort added. “Or you can call me during picnic hours at 598-7845.”

The cart was acquired earlier this year for use during funerals at the cemetery, and has been pressed into service several times to shuttle individuals who might otherwise be unable to walk to the graveside.

This year's schedule of activities kicks-off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 3, with the Young Junior Miss Piggott pageant. Two other pageants will be held Monday evening (see additional story on page 3), and the carnival will be open for the first armband promotion.

Tuesday's activities are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with the annual parade, with local veteran Tom Sneed serving as the grand marshal (see additional story). Afterward, the PHS Marching Mohawk band is scheduled to perform at the beauty revue stand.

In keeping with tradition, political speakers will take to the stage beginning at 10:30 a.m., immediately following the opening ceremonies.

After the parade the log cabin will be opening, offering the traditional barbecue sandwiches and barbecue by the pound.

Additional pageants will be held the remainder of the morning, with gospel music to be featured on the stage at 1:30.

Two more pageants will be held during the mid-afternoon hours, followed at 4:30 p.m. by a performance by Brittany Mann. Afterward, Tim Roberts is scheduled to perform with his harmonica.

The featured entertainers of the evening will be the band Fault Line, and the 6 p.m. performance is sponsored by Piggott State Bank.

At 8 p.m. the annual Miss Piggott pageant will be held, as young ladies ages 17 to 21 compete for the title. Providing the $500 scholarship for the winner is Piggott State Bank.

The annual fireworks display is scheduled for 10 p.m., sponsored this year by First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center. Afterward, around 10:30, the cemetery association will be drawing for the three $5,000 prizes awarded to those entering the annual drawing.

Chances on the drawing are currently available from cemetery association board members, and will be on sale Monday evening and all day Tuesday at the picnic grounds.

Armbands are available for Monday evening and for Tuesday, at a cost of $25 in advance or $30 on Monday and Tuesday.

Sneed Named Grand Marshal

The Piggott Cemetery Association has chosen local veteran Tom Sneed to serve as Grand Marshal for this year's Fourth of July Picnic Parade, set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4.

A Clay County native, Sneed served over 20 years in the United States Army after a successful stint in the ROTC program at ASU. Following his military service, Sneed spent over a decade in the classrooms of Piggott High School teaching math and science. He has also been very active within the community, serving on the Piggott Health Care Facilities Board and on the Adjustment Board of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Sneed also served on the cemetery association board for several years, including terms as both secretary and vice president.

“I was born at Rector and graduated Piggott High School in 1953,” he explains.

Afterward, Sneed moved into the workforce but still looked to continue his education.

“I attended ASU and graduated in 1962, I thought I wanted to be a teacher,” he continued. “But, I really liked the ROTC and ended up joining the Army after graduation.”

This led to a 20-plus year career in the military, as Sneed rose through the ranks.

“We spent three years in Germany, three years in Hawaii and later I was stationed in Vietnam,” he offers. “Otherwise, I spent the rest of the time stateside, and was stationed at a lot of different locations—places like Ft. Hood, Ft. Lee and Ft. Polk and others. I also spent a little time at Ft. Knox, but just for training.”

During his years of military service Sneed had a number of responsibilities, but spent the majority of time providing soldiers with the ammunition they needed to get the job done.

“The first two years I was in the Army I was in the armored division, the rest of the time I spent in ordinance logistics,” he explained. “I was in Vietnam during the worst of the Tet offensive, and at that time we were moving 90,000 tons of ordinance a month.”

Sneed concluded his military service in June of 1982 having attained the rank of Lt. Colonel, and returned withhis family to Piggott. The following fall he began the next stage of life, as he took a job teaching at Piggott High School. For the next 12 school years he would teach math and science to the students of PHS, finally retiring in the mid 1990s.

Throughout his military, and teaching, career Sneed has enjoyed the support of his wife, Barbara. During his time in the Army the couple also welcomed a daughter, Heather (Mrs. Paul Seegraves), who would later graduate from Piggott High and follow—somewhat, in her father's footsteps, and become a teacher in the Piggott School District.

“They traveled with me every where in the world I went, except Vietnam,” he offers.

Adding to the pleasures of retirement for the Sneeds are their grandkids, Emilee and Shawn-Hudson Seegraves, as they follow and support them in their many interests and activities. According to Tom, he intends to have them ride with him in the parade and enjoy the occasion.

This is actually the second time Sneed has served as Grand Marshal, as he was afforded the honor several years ago. This year he represents all those who have served their country, in keeping with the theme of the 90th annual picnic, “We Salute Veterans.”

As a member of the Sneed family, which included such heroes as the late Marshall Sneed, Tom is quick to note he considered it a privilege to be of service.

“It was an honor to serve my country, and it's an honor to be recognized as this year's Grand Marshal,” he concluded.

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