by Kim Forbes
Last week the sun shone brightly on Humboldt. Some might have complained that it was too hot. Sure, some sunburns were endured. But, it surely beats the downpours that have fallen on our fair town in years past. It probably even beats sitting along the parade route in a coat.
Because of the fair weather, people came and came in massive numbers. By 7 a.m. Friday morning there were already people sitting in their chairs along Main St. awaiting the 10 a.m. Grand Floats Parade.
And grand it was. There were politicians, dignitaries, beauty queens and their courts, impressive floats, massive high school marching bands and more.
After the parade Friday, approximately 300 people met at the Humboldt Medical Center conference room for the traditional Governor’s luncheon. Master of ceremonies, Alex Smith, one of the co-chairs for the event, introduced the impressive list of dignitaries present for the luncheon, including those seated at the head table. At the head table were Tom Witherspoon, John Stevens, Curtis Halford, David Kustoff, Melissa Swingler, Chelsea Caraway and Marvin Sikes.
Smith spoke on some of the personal efforts to Gibson County by Governor Bill Haslam, who was out of the country on Tennessee business and could not attend the luncheon. Smith spoke on the initiatives and state grants enacted under Haslam’s eye, which benefit rural Tennessee. “These grants and initiatives are what helped bring Tyson to Gibson County,” noted Smith. Not only have we gained because of the acts, but Lake County and Weakley County have also been able to share good news, which is good for West Tennessee,” he added.
Attendees were treated to a delicious meal including salad and dessert which was placed at each setting. The lunch was served buffet style.
As guests were finishing their meals, the governor’s luncheon took a different turn as the top six Tenn. gubernatorial candidates each took the stage and addressed the crowd for five minutes each. When the candidates finished, festival president Swingler took to the podium and announced that each candidate received a quart of strawberries.
The program concluded with Smith extending thank yous to everyone in attendance and to those who make the festival tradition continue each year.