HOUSTONIA — Four women in the Houstonia area have united to form the Houstonia Community Club in hopes of bringing activities to children and adults in the area, including Hughesville.
Community Club President Andrea Hall and friends Jeannie Knowles, Jessica Bales and Samantha Ice began the club in September 2014. After a successful Christmas parade in December, the group is planning an Independence Day event slated for June 27.
“Our goal is to bring the communities together,” Hall said. “We try to pull the Hughesville/Houstonia community together. We are striving to have more opportunities for the children, and we’re wanting to get our park up and going as well.”
In the past, the club has offered craft night for children plus movie nights, a Halloween event and an Easter egg hunt. Most events take place at the Houstonia City Hall.
Hall, Knowles and Bales spoke with the Democrat on Wednesday as they were passing out lunches for the Open Door Summer Food Program at the Houstonia City Hall. They said they were extremely pleased at how well the Christmas parade went last December. It was the first time for the event that brought in 50 to 60 entries with people participating not only from Houstonia but from Hughesville, Sedalia and Sweet Springs.
“That was huge, it was very shocking,” Hall said. “It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it, because we turned the street down at the end of this block and the two streets connecting were lined with tons of people. It was amazing.
“This year it will be even bigger,” she added. “The Sedalia parade is the first Saturday (of December) and ours is the second. This year our Christmas parade will be Dec. 12. I have also found out Concordia will be participating; their band will be here.”
This month the women have big plans for an all-day Independence Day event June 27. Many of the activities will be free, while others will have a small fee.
Events will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 11 p.m. in the downtown area. Visitors will find a 50/50 chance game with two tickets for $5, a silent auction and a pie baking contest. Carnival games will be hosted at two different times during the day: from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Face painting will be done throughout the day for $1.
A concession stand with a variety of food and drink will be open all day and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. there will be free hot dogs and lemonade.
The event will also feature a car, truck, tractor and motorcycle show with a $10 entry fee. Prizes will be awarded for first through 10th place.
The Houstonia Community Club is a nonprofit organization and funds raised by the event will go back into the community. It is being sponsored by approximately 18 businesses from Houstonia, Sedalia, Marshall and Sweet Springs.
“If it wasn’t for these sponsors helping us, we probably wouldn’t be able to do this,” Hall said.
She added that a donor is paying for the fireworks display, but they are looking for additional donations to help with the display.
“He’s buying all of them out of his own pocket,” she said. “The donations we get that night we are giving to him to replace for next year.”
Later this year, the club is planning to host a back-to-school event, a Halloween event and a winter carnival. They are also looking to renovate the old “Place Church” located down the street from City Hall at Walnut and Second streets. The old church will become the home of the Houstonia Community Club.
“We’ll be doing a lot more activities then,” Hall said. “It’s going to be the town’s community building. We just want to let the community know that the activities that we do, the money goes to the community and to the children. The activities we have, the money goes to do free activities for children.”
Hall added that the money raised from the Independence Day event will go toward renovating the Houstonia Park.
The Houstonia Independence Day Bash will be hosted from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 27 in the downtown area. For more information, call Hall at 281-3861, Bales at 620-1982 or Knowles at 864-5096.