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Chickasaw County 4-H to host 20th annual 'Frankie's Fall Fun and Games Day'

HOUSTON – The Chickasaw County 4-H is gearing up to host the 20th annual “Frankie’s Fall Fun and Games Day” on Friday, Oct. 18 at the Chickasaw County Agri-Center.

The fun day was started 20 years ago by the then-Houlka 4-H for Frankie Cross. He was transitioning from Houlka school to Houston school and it was a difficult time for him.

His mother, Jo Cross, had carried him to different fun day events in places such as New Albany, but she didn’t think fair that Frankie was got to experience these events, but many of the other special needs children in the area didn’t. So, she set out to try and establish such an event for the Chickasaw area.

“Frankie was changing schools from Houlka to Houston, and that was a transition,” said Cross “So I approached the Houlka 4-H about our community service project being a fun day for special needs kids.”

The Houlka 4-H took on the project and thus “Frankie’s Fun Day” was born. The event serves special needs students from the Houston School District, and Chickasaw County School District in Houlka.

The Houlka chapter of the 4-H club dissolved after a few years, but they were absorbed into the Houston chapter to become the Chickasaw County chapter.

Ricky Burgess, who led the Houlka chapter when the fun day was started, stays involved. He supplies the horses every year and takes care of the outdoor part according to Cross.

This year’s attractions include games for the students, cake walks, horse rides – which Cross said are a personal favorite of Frankie’s – and educational activities. A lunch is provided.

The Chickasaw County 4-H is currently taking donations, because the event is sponsored entirely by donations from the community. Cross thanked everyone for their support over the years.

“We would just love to thank everybody that has participated and has ever been a part of it,” she said.

Reeves: Conservative leadership needed in Mississippi

HOUSTON – Republican gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves stopped in Houston on Wednesday, Oct. 2, on his campaign trail.

Reeves spoke at Pinson Place, to members of the Chickasaw County Republican Party as well as members of the community.

He covered a wide array of topics including more polarizing subjects such as abortion and religious liberties. However, the most prevalent message was what he referred to as the need for conservative leaders in our state.

He said that there are gubernatorial elections going on this year in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana. He said that the Democratic Party would love to win all three elections to “hang around [President Trump’s] neck in the 2020 election.”

He also discussed the different appointments that the Governor is responsible for and how that affects everyone. He mentioned the judiciary system as well as the United States Senate. He posed a question to the crowd.

“Does anyone in this crowd think that if my opponent wins, that he will appoint conservative Republicans to the United States Senate if he gets the opportunity?”

His question was met with a resounding “no” from the audience.

He spoke about legislation he helped pass while serving as Lieutenant Governor, which he said, included protecting religious freedoms, protection of the unborn, and insuring Mississippi’s fiscal responsibility.

He spoke about what he referred to as the implications of the upcoming election.

“My friends, this election has consequences,” he said. “It has real consequences as it relates to who may serve Mississippi in the United States Senate, it has real consequences in who might serve on the state judiciary and it has consequences if you have a chancery judge or a circuit judge who retires, or God forbid, passes away while in office.

“Guess who gets to appoint the successor? The next governor will make that appointment. We as a state have to decide do we want a conservative Republican making those appointments, or do we want a liberal Democrat?”

He closed by talking about statewide elected Republicans.

“For the last eight years, Mississippi has had seven out of eight statewide elected Republicans,” he said.

He went on to make a prediction.

“I’m predicting that on November 5 at about 9 p.m. we will know and be able to confirm that now we have eight out of eight state-wide elected Republicans.”

Flywheel Festival offered family fun, music and food

HOUSTON – The annual Fall Flywheel Festival was held at Joe Brigance Park in Houston on Saturday, Sept. 28.

According to Chickasaw Development Foundation Director Sean Johnson, there was an increase in both attendance and vendors from the 2018 Fall Flywheel Festival. He said that the Fall Festival is usually the smaller of the two, so it would not be fair to compare the fall to this past spring.

“The Fall Flywheel is traditionally the smaller of the two festivals, so we should compare this festival to the 2018 Fall Festival...doing so would show that we were up in attendance and vendors,” said Johnson.

“Fall festivals are difficult for a number of reasons, including competition with SEC Football (we were lucky this year as both State and Ole Miss had away games), and competition with other festivals. For instance, we lost several vendors to the Grenada Downtown Festival in Grenada and others to Mule Day over in Alabama. But again, our numbers were up in both regards.”

He mentioned that many of the vendors were there for the first time.

“This year we had a 35 percent increase in the number of vendors, with several coming for the first time,” he said. “The new vendors were mostly makers of their own crafts which was a big plus.”

There were also some candidates from the upcoming election who spoke to the crowds. There was a decent turnout for the political speaking; many of the benches were full or almost full.

There was also live music. Festivalgoers were treated to some bluegrass from both acts that performed. First up was the Grass Skirts, who are new to the Flywheel. Danny Watkins and the Mountain View Connection, who were returning from the Spring 2019 Flywheel, followed them.

Perhaps one of the biggest pulls of the festival seemed to be the food. People lined up left and right to get their funnel cakes and lemonade. There were several food vendors set up, but the types of food seemed to fall largely into two categories. One category was Carnival/fair food such as funnel cakes, nachos, corndogs, etc., and the other category was barbeque. There were several vendors selling barbeque items such as pulled pork sandwiches, brisket and even a concoction called the “BBQ Sundae.”

There were also the traditional aspects of the Flywheel that people have come to know and love, such as the anvil shoot, tractor displays, etc.

Johnson believes that the Flywheel Festival is an event that can become a major area event with the proper treatment.

“The Flywheel Festival is a unique festival to North Mississippi and has the potential to become a large regional event,” he said. “Both the spring and fall festivals have had substantial increases in attendance and market size this past year and we believe that with the right programming and publicity, these numbers will continue to grow.”