ANNA — It’s that time of year again when the air is full of music, great food and fellowship between neighbors and friends in the village of Anna when they kick off their annual Anna Homecoming celebration on June 19-20. The people of this community look forward to being able get out and visit people they may only see once a year, at this event.
At the age of 22, a man moved into this town, taught in the schools, coached baseball and basketball and held the position of athletic director for 30 years. Today he is the mayor of the village and recollects the changes over the years at the Homecoming.
“Yes, there have been a lot of changes in the celebration since those early years here,” said Bob Anderson, mayor of Anna. “The parade had a number of horses back then, and the rides were the same ones you would find at a county fair. We had about six of the big rides like the Scrambler, Ferris Wheel, and Merry-go-round.
“I remember the year we got a brand new Scrambler. Our homecoming was the first time this ride had been set up and the workmen setting it up told us that it had just cost the company $44,000. That was back in 1965. Today our rides consist of the blow-up jumpy houses for the little ones.
“Businesses around town used to have a penny jar with the photo of a candidate on it, you would put a penny in the jar of the girl you wanted to see win, and that’s how the whole town voted for the queen. Now we have a pageant on Friday night to crown the new royalty.
“And the venue has changed as well. We used to have the carnival set up where the new football stadium sits now. Today it takes place in the yard of the new elementary school. But there are also many things about the Homecoming that will never change.
“I really enjoy the car show with all the old classics from the 40’s and 50’s. We have even had the old Model T’s in the display. It is such a good time for our town.
“Once a year, as it always has been, we get out and see people we may only see during the homecoming. It’s a time of fellowship. I have sat in the same place with the same man for 25 years to watch the parade on Saturday. Tom Ailes and I take our places in front of the Town Hall and catch up that one time a year. It’s good to see those friends we may only see because of this event.”
This event is sponsored by the Anna Civic Association and all revenues are put right back into the community.
“This is our only fundraiser,” said Deb McDermott, advertising director for the Association. “We give two scholarships a year in addition to sponsoring the Easter, Halloween and Christmas events for the children.
“We also donate large amounts of funding for larger projects needed in our community. The Anna Civic Association has a meeting the first Monday of each month at the library and all residents that live within the Anna School District are invited to attend.”
In large part the Anna Homecoming will have the same schedule as last year with the addition of a Pass, Punt and Kick contest on Friday night. Anna’s new football coach and members of the football team will be running this program. And face painting will return on Saturday for a second year.
The band that will be rocking the stage on Saturday night is Tricky Dick and the Cover-ups. This band boasts of four young and energetic members with fun personalities and refined music.
According to their manager, “We have a constantly growing playlist comprised of non-stop blocks of music, a unique and compelling intelligent light show, a sincere dedication to engaging every audience, and over three years of experience playing over 200 plus shows together a year. We have garnered over 6,000 fans on Facebook and we have only just begun.”
It’s not too late to sign up for the Cruise-In. Contact Stan Egbert at 937- 394-3191. And for the Adult Whiffle Ball Contest, call Alex Hunsucker at 937-638-8087.
A complete list of the events is available on Anna Civic Association’s website as well as in the Wednesday, June 10, edition of the iN75 of Sidney Daily News.