Labor Day picnic huge event for Region 8 city

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

RECTOR, AR (KAIT) – While many are getting ready to head to the lake or fire up the grill, some folks are spending the holiday weekend showcasing their community.  The Rector Labor Day Picnic is a four day event that kicks off on Friday and runs through Labor Day. 

"You can't really describe to people unless they witness it.  You bring people in from out of town to their first Labor Day Picnic and Monday morning they're like 'where did these people come from'," said picnic co-chair Mark Manchester.

"It's a big deal, you know, there are thousands of people who come through the park during that day," said Nathan Henderson.

Mark Manchester and Nathan Henderson are co-chairs of the event.  Like most residents, both have worked at the picnic as volunteers.

"It's amazing how the people in Rector come together and work together," said Henderson

"It is really an amazing event that pretty much incorporates every aspect of our entire community past, present and future," said Manchester.

Monday kicks off with the parade.

"Every year we have a tremendous parade here our community comes together for that.  We sit around for months and worry about, 'will we have a good parade, will we have a good parade', and then all of a sudden it just seems to come together," said Manchester.

Monday's festivities also include an appearance by politicians.  Manchester says they have about 20 politicians coming.

"They'll have a short moment on stage where they give a little stump speech and then they stay and visit with the crowds for as long as they possibly can," said Manchester.

Leading up to the big event there are many things happening all across town over the weekend.  This is the time of year that many families plan reunions.  There are also multiple class reunions being held at the community center.

"It just keeps getting bigger and better and I don't see us stopping any time soon," said Manchester.

Money raised at the picnic goes to help with upkeep at the cemetery.

The Rector Saddle Club Arena will host Championship Rodeo starting at 8 on Friday and running through Saturday.  On Sunday the Carnival Rides will start up from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.  Pageants kick off on Sunday with the petite miss pageant at 2 p.m. and end with the Miss Rector Pageant at 8 p.m. on Monday night.  The parade will start on Monday at 9 a.m. followed by political speeches from candidates.

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