Saturday is our annual Heritage Day celebration. In years past (1910-1919) Caddo was known far and wide for its annual Corn Carnival. It was a huge event with permanent grounds and buildings. It drew thousands of visitors from all over the country. I just finished typing a post about the queen contest of 1914 for my Caddo blog. Several things impressed me about the brief article. First of all, the queen candidates got 10 votes for each $1 purchased at the eleven participating merchants, and the 1914 winner, Miss Thelma Harris, received 306,000 votes! And the vote was only 14,480 the week before, which meant a lot of “last minute” shopping! Also, hundreds of people stayed downtown until midnight to hear the results. I’m not sure we could get that kind of participation if we were giving away money!!
Heritage Day has suffered a drop in attendance and participation in recent years because of competition from other events and the general lifestyle changes we’ve all gone through. People are working on Saturdays (Gary included), kids are busy with a dozen other activities, people are exhausted and it’s easier to stay home in front of the television or computer. However, I hope that local residents make an effort to walk downtown and enjoy the activities of the day and visit with their neighbors. And I hope many of them have invited their children home for the weekend.
I was proud yesterday to see that all of the residents along Buffalo Street and many on the side streets have mowed and trimmed their yards in anticipation of the weekend. Gary and I went downtown and worked on the flower beds and mowed the wildflower bed. I will put out mums this week when it is a little cooler. Caddo is looking good!
Times change and we have to adapt, but some traditions are worth saving. I hope Heritage Day continues for many years and we continue to pay tribute to those who have gone before us. It is remarkable to me to realize how long Caddo has been here (1872) and how much she has survived. I’m proud that we still honor her.