150 Year Celebration Begins in Small Region 8 Town

SEPTEMBER 21, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:45 P.M. CDT

POCAHONTAS, AR -- 150 years of history all in one small Region 8 town. The City of Pocahontas had people lining the streets kicking off the celebration of their sesquicentennial anniversary.

"This is to celebrate that sense of community and that sense of heritage that we have here," says Linda Bowlin, the Chairman of the Sesquicentennial Committee.

A sense of pride for their town was evident as people cheered throughout the town parade and just enjoyed being right where they call home.

"A lot of people feel they're at home where ever they are, but for most of us and many of us who live in Randolph County we're not home unless we're in Randolph County," says Bowlin.

Tommie Mann and Billie Reed have lived in Pocahontas all their life. Both reminisced about the many memories they've shared over the years.

"We can remember when there were lots of businesses up here. We used to come up here as kids and go to the dime stores and the theaters, which are no longer here," says Reed.

Hundreds of people showed up to kick off the 3 week long celebration of the rich history that lies in their hometown of Pocahontas. This first weekend of events is the Civil War Era, 1856 to 1906. The 3 weeks will showcase different periods, celebrating what it was like in Pocahontas during those times. The older generation said they feel it's important for today's youth to understand the history behind the town of Pocahontas and this celebration is just the beginning.

"It's just a glimpse of what the history in this area is and what it can be in the future," Tommie Mann.

Friday, a ribbon cutting reception will be held for the grand opening of the Randolph County Heritage Museum, one of the many events that will take place over the next 3 weeks.