The 34th Annual Lovelady Lovefest kicked off Thursday night, Feb. 11, in the packed Lovelady High School Gym with the coronation of 2016 Lovefest Queen Hannah Gresham. She is pictured here with her escort, Cole Cimrhanzl. After 2015 Lovefest Queen Avery Brumley crowned Gresham, the Royal Court took its place to be entertained by Lovelady Elementary students. In keeping with this year's Lovefest theme, Rock Around the Clock", the children performed to songs from the 50s and 60s. The Lovelady High School Band also performed. Hannah Burleson and Alex McKnight served as emcees for the evening. Members of the Royal Court were Seventh Grade Princess Kyra Rogers and Escort Caleb Larkin; Eighth Grade Princess Hannah York and Escort Kent Thatcher; Freshman Princess Morgan LaRue and Escort Logan Lowery; Sophomore Princess Miranda Moore and Escort Ethan Tullos; Junior Princess Allison Hay and Escort Daniel Cook; Senior Princess and Lovefest Queen Hanna Gresham and Escort Cole Cimrhanzl. (Lynda Jones Photo)
Photo by Lynda Jones The 2016 Royal Lovefest Court made its debut at the historic Collins house in Lovelady on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Pictured are Eighth Grade Princess Hannah York and Escort Kent Thatcher, Freshman Princess Morgan LaRue and Escort Logan Lowery; Sophomore Princess Miranda Moore and Escort Ethan Tullos; Junior Princess Allison Hay and Escort Daniel Cook; Senior Princess Hannah Gresham and Escort Cole Cimrhanzl, and Seventh Grade Princess Kyra Rogers and Escort Caleb Larkin. Flower Girl is Ryan Corley and Crown Bearer is Jayden McCullough. The coronation ceremony will be Thursday, Feb. 11 in the Lovelady High School gym. (Lynda Jones Photo)
The Lovelady community is getting ready to "Rock Around the Clock" at the 34th annual Lovefest on Saturday, Feb. 13, and everyone is invited to participate.
The Lovefest court of princesses and their escorts, along with the flower girl and crown bearer, were introduced at a kick-off media event Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the historic Collins house in Lovelady.
The 2015 Lovefest Queen, Avery Brumley, will pass her crown to one of the lucky young ladies at the cornonation ceremony Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Lovelady High School gym. The event will start at 7 p.m. For more information about the coronation, call Lisa Allen or Carol Monk at 936-636-7636.
Area residents will start lining up along SH 19 in Lovelady bright and early Saturday morning, Saturday, Feb. 13 for the Lovefest "Rock Around the Clock" parade. Parade coordinator Tammy Cousins said it is very important that all entries be at the line-up site at 8:30 a.m.
"The parade is open to anyone who wants to enter," Cousins said, "but they must line-up at 8:30 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m."
For floats carrying small children, the children don't have to arrive until 9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m., but the floats and vehicles must be in the line-up at 8:30 a.m., she added.
There is no cost to enter the parade.
Bicycles, antique cars, ATVs, floats – all are welcome, Cousins said. For the antique cars, first, second and third place winners will receive ribbons, and a Best of Show will be awarded.
In the floats category, Best of Show, Most Unique and Best Theme will be selected.
Cousins also noted that for those entering horses, there will be a place for parking trailers and trucks.
For more information about the parade, contact Cousins at 936-545-1111 or 936-546-1331.
Another popular segment of the celebration is the Lovefest Baby Beauty Contest, sponsored by the Lovelady First United Methodist Women. Parents will be taking their little ones dressed in their Lovefest finest to the church fellowship hall beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.
Judging will be in the following age groups: 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 1 year olds, 2 year olds, 3 year olds and 4 year olds. Boys and girls will be judged separately, and the award ceremony will be at 2 p.m. at the bandstand located in the City Park (next to the Lovelady Old Gym).
Trophies will be awarded for first place, second place and third place in each group. High point trophies will go to Little Miss Lovefest and Little Mr. Lovefest. Applications are available at the Houston County Courier office in Crockett. For additional information about the Lovefest Baby Beauty Contest, call Mary Allen, 936-636-7372; JoAnn Henry, 935-624-6407; or Dorothy Williamson, 936-636-7097.
As always, as soon as the parade is over, the crowd will migrate to the City Park and the Lovelady Old Gym to enjoy hundreds of arts & craft booths, food booths, live entertainment and the barbecue cook-off.
For information about securing an arts & crafts or food booth, contact Lawanna Monk at 936-546-4054.
Anyone interested in performing daytime entertainment should call Jessica Lambert at 979-824-3703.
For information about the barbecue cook off, call Mike Broxson at 936-7337 or Ronnie Driskell at 636-7839 or 936-662-6539.
The Lovefest Dance, which features The Firecrackers this year, will close out the day. The dance will be at the Lovelady Old Gym from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. (midnight) on Saturday, Feb. 13. For information about the dance, call Lawanna Monk at 936-546-4054.
Festival goers will want to be properly attired in an official 34th Annual Lovefest 2016 "Rock Around the Clock" t-shirt or sweatshirt. The deadline for order forms and payment is Monday, Feb. 1. Forms can be dropped off at Broxson Hardware or the Lovelady Food Center, or children can give the form to Julie Hay at the school.
Forms also are available at the Houston County Courier office in Crockett. For more information about the shirts, call Beverly Moore at 936-546-3951.
Two decades after the demise of the first replica of a Caddo grass house at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, a Caddo grass house will rise again on the prairie along the Neches River bottom in 2016. Volunteers are pictured harvesting switch grass for the house in November 2015. The next harvest day is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23, and volunteers are needed. (Courtesy Photo)
Special to the HC Courier
NACOGDOCHES - It's time to roll up your sleeves and cut some switch grass! Caddo Mounds State Historic Site (CMSHS) harvested switch grass at the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest in Nacogdoches in November 2015 for the construction of a traditional Caddo grass house at the site. The next harvest will take place at the Experimental Forest on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 9:30 a.m. A rain out date is scheduled for Jan. 30.
In 2014, Friends of Caddo Mounds embarked on a mission to build a new grass house at the site. The first replica Caddo grass house at CMSHS was constructed in 1981. The house remained an integral part of the site until the mid 1990s, when it deteriorated beyond repair. Per Caddo custom, the house was burned.
Two decades later, through the efforts of Friends of Caddo Mounds, CMSHS staff and numerous supporters, the Caddo grass house will rise again on the prairie along the Neches River bottom in 2016.
"The grass house dwelling will be used for interpretation and public education about how Caddo houses were designed and constructed, the materials that were used to build them, and the activities that were conducted inside," said CMSHS Interpreter Rachel Galan. "But we also want the house constructed to honor the Caddo and their culture," said Galan.
Caddo elder Phil Cross has agreed to construct the grass house this summer at the site. Cross is the only living Caddo elder who knows the traditional grass house building techniques. After the first grass cutting last November, the grass was stored on site to dry.
In December, Caddo elder Phil Cross returned to CMSHS to mark pine polls and willow trees to be harvested later in the spring for construction of the grass house. Cross analyzed the switch grass harvest and it was determined that more switch grass was needed. According to Friends of Caddo Mounds President Jeff Williams, by utilizing Phil Cross, the group is incorporating the unique knowledge and invaluable experience of the ancient Caddo people and the thriving Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.
Locals are also excited about the grass house project, and anxious to see the prairie resemble their memories of the site.
"I spent a lot of time in the area as a child. No matter how many times I visited the site or drove by on TX SH 21, the ancient earthen mounds and grass house always enchanted me," said Friends of Caddo Mounds member Dana Goolsby. "I remember seeing the grass house at CMSHS in our Texas History books in elementary school, and realizing how important the site was even then. Today, the site still enchants me and is more important than ever. Joining the Friends of Caddo Mounds group has given me the opportunity to help preserve Caddo culture and East Texas history."
Anyone who is interested in volunteering at CMSHS and helping with grass house work days is encouraged to attend the next Friends of Caddo Mounds meeting on Thursday, January 21, at 6p.m. The Friends of Caddo Mounds is a 501 c3 non-profit organization under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Texas Historical Commission's Historic Sites Division. The group meets at the CMSHS Museum on the third Thursday of each month at 6p.m.
Switch grass cutting volunteers are encouraged to wear closed toed shoes, work clothes, and bring work gloves. Safety goggles are a plus. Any volunteers able to bring gas or battery run hedge cutters would be appreciated. Lunch and drinks will be provided at the work day.
Please call Anthony Souther or Rachel Galan for more information about the grass house project, how to donate, or how to get involved at (936) 858-3218. Like the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site on Facebook for updates about upcoming work days.
Saturday, Jan. 30, will be a special day in Crockett as Kenny Rogers takes the stage live at the Crockett Civic Center.
The ever popular Kenny Rogers will return to Crockett on Saturday, Jan. 30, for a live performance at the Crockett Civic Center. The concert is a Piney Woods Fine Arts Association “special event” in honor of the PWFAA 25th Anniversary Season. (Courtesy Photo)For new residents who may be unaware, Rogers has long maintained a loving relationship with the city. He was born in Houston, but had family ties here.
The Houston County Senior Citizens Center in Crockett has gratefully benefitted from his generosity in the past.
Rogers, now 77, appeals to audiences of all ages and still loves touring and recording new music. Although many know him for his humorous bit on a television commercial, sitting at a poker table and singing, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em", Rogers is so much more.
His long list of timeless classics includes 24 No. 1 hits, including "The Gambler", "Lady", "Lucille", "She Believes in Me", "Islands in the Stream" (a duet with Dolly Parton) and "We've Got Tonight".
He has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, making him one of the Top 10 Best Selling Male Solo Artists of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association.
In addition to receiving the CMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Rogers has three Grammy Awards, 19 American Music Awards, 11 People's Choice Awards, 8 Academy of Country Music Awards and 6 Country Music Association Awards, to his credit.
The Crockett concert is a Piney Woods Fine Arts Association "Special Event", booked in honor of the PWFAA's 25th Season.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call the PWFAA office at 936-544-4276 between 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday - Friday, or visit www.pwfaa.org.
In a world where churches face increasing danger from the invasion of criminal elements, a world where hostages have been taken during active shooter incidents and a world where a congregation was slaughtered, several churches in Houston County feel the need for training to address the issue.
Texas DPS/Rangers Chaplain Wade McKinney and Houston County Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt invite all churches in Houston County to a Religious Congregation Emergency Proactive Security and Active Shooter Seminar.
McKinney, who also serves as chaplain to the Angelina County Sheriff's Office, recently presented similar seminars in Angelina and Trinity counties.
The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Harvest Church, 1403 East Loop 304, in Crockett. For more information, call the Houston County Sheriff's Office at 936-544-2862.
Dr. Christopher Haeckler is shown presenting Morgan and Ryan Driskill of Centerville with “Welcome to the World” gifts in honor of their new son, Ryan Lee Driskill, Jr., born on Friday, Jan. 1, at Houston County Medical Center in Crockett. (Courtesy Photo)
The first birth of a new year is always special, but Morgan and Ryan Driskill's bouncing baby boy is extra special. He is the first New Year's Baby born at the hospital in Crockett since it became Houston County Medical Center in June 2015.
Ryan Lee Driskill, Jr. arrived at 12:31 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, with a little help in the delivery room from Dr. Christopher Haeckler. Baby Ryan weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz., and measured 20 inches long at birth. He and his parents live in Centerville.
The proud grandparents are Rocky Nichols, Tanya Paulson, Benny and Judy Driskill, and James and Kim Nichols.
In the photo above, Haeckler is shown presenting the Driskill family with a wreath donated by the HCMC Radiology Dept., and gift basket items donated by HCMC, Carrie in HCMC Medical Records Dept. and several local merchants.