The agenda for this coming Saturday, November 11, is full of opportunities in George County from morning until night. It includes an arts and crafts show, a classic car show, veteran observances, and lots of socializing.
Highlights of the day will begin with the annual Gingham Tree Arts and Crafts Festival and a car show at Walt Massey Automotive. If sunny weather continues, the sky should be right for sunlight to shine through the Veterans’ Sundial in City Park at 11 a.m. Later that day the town’s monthly Second Saturday event starts at 5 p.m. and will include a parade honoring all veterans.
Gingham Tree is the local fundraiser of the Lucedale Fine Arts Club. This year marks its 51st event. A handful of dedicated ladies organize and work the festival. Vendors pay exhibit fees, and the club donates all proceeds to the community. It takes place at the George County Fairgrounds, 9162 Old Mississippi 63 South 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The family-friendly shopping event hosts more than 300 craft vendors and 14 food vendors. Admission and parking are both free. Since 2003 the Fine Arts Club has sponsored a painting of a historic George County building or scene via the talents of various local artist. The 2023 print depicts the Whites-Shaw Clinic and was painted by Christy Cooley, art instructor at Benndale Elementary School.
Also happening Saturday is the 9th annual Classic Cruisin’ Car Show at Walt Massey Automotive located on Ventura Drive in Lucedale. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and is $10 per car. There will be six categories of competition. Proceeds will be donated to Dixie Adoptables. Visitors can enjoy free food while listening to the talented Gulf Coast Troubadours. The event runs until 1 p.m. and promises plenty of door prizes and giveaways.
Late Saturday morning will be a time to be in Lucedale City Park. The Veterans’ Sundial in the park is located in the circular drive near the pavilion. It was designed by the late Jim Corley, an engineer and artist who was born in George County and retired in Lucedale following his successful career as a mechanical engineer. Corley designed a set of five pillars through which the sun’s rays pierce precisely positioned holes of each pillar. The rays cast a solar spotlight on a Veterans Administration insignia at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 each year. While the action is dependent upon sunny skies, it truly works when the sun shines. Veterans’ Day, once called Armistice Day, marked the end of World War I. That Great War was to have ended all wars. Around 5 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 11, 1918, allied countries reached an agreement with Germany to cease hostile conflict. That armistice occurred later that morning when hostile weapon fires were silenced at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month that year. The historical moment has been celebrated every year since that day. It’s a day to honor not only those who served in World War I, but those who served in previous wars and those who have served in wars since that time.
A Veterans’ Day Parade is planned Saturday evening on Winter and Main Streets in conjunction with the Downtown Merchants Association’s Second Saturday event. The parade is sponsored by the VFW Post 12192 and the American Legion Post 58. It will roll at 6 p.m. beginning at L.C. Hatcher Elementary School and traveling north on Winter Street to Main Street and east on Main Street to the VFW building at 5203 Main Street on the corner of Virginia and Main Streets. Second Saturday event organizers block the downtown area to allow pedestrian-only traffic. However, to accommodate the parade, Second Saturday goers will be asked to temporarily move to the sidewalks to allow the parade to travel through. Veterans will disembark their rides at the VFW Building.
Merchant shopping, music, and food will encompass the downtown evening event from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. November’s Second Saturday is the last one set this year. Second Saturday 2024 will begin in the spring – typically in April.