People from Waxahachie and the surrounding areas began arriving at Lumpkin Stadium parking lot Tuesday evening prepared to enjoy the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Fourth of July/Crape Myrtle festivities.
Included in the evening of fun were a tailgate party, fireworks, rides and climbing wall for the children. People were sitting in lawn chairs and pickup beds; others pitched tents, and spread large tables of food - charcoal grills were fired up, and some even brought homemade ice cream.
Most of the crowd began to wonder if the event would be cancelled when another torrential rain shower passed through. But it only lasted about 15 minutes, and hardly anyone seemed to mind wading through a couple inches of water.
Long-time Waxahachie residents such as Ted and Kathy Harris parked their pickup truck as close to Brown Street as possible so they could get a good view of the fireworks.
Ryan and Amber Wilmot and their 4-year-old daughter, Bayli, were eating dinner while sitting in the back of their truck. Just a few vehicles away, Steve and Anna Toker along with their two children, Maria, 4, and Matthew, 20 months, were seated in the back of their pickup truck eating sandwiches and chips.
“We presently live in Dallas, but we’re building a new house out in Sterrett, and I know we’re going to love it here,” Anna Toker said.
“I always love coming back to Waxahachie,” said Sue Norton of Sulphur Springs, who, for many years was a resident of Waxahachie and employed by the downtown Citizens National Bank. Norton and her daughter and son-in-law, Fercina and John Fudge, and her grandchildren, Brandon and Keenan, spread a large table of sandwiches, potato salad, chips and dips and homemade ice cream under their tent as they anticipated the main attraction of the evening - the fireworks.
“Waxahachie has really exploded with growth - I always knew it would,” Norton said.
Lone Star Glory Band was scheduled to perform at 7, but the concert was cancelled due to a sound equipment malfunction because of rain.
“The band is just wonderful,” chamber board chairman Teresa McNiel said. “I’m very disappointed that they are not able to perform.”
In a brief ceremony, McNiel presented the Crape Myrtle Queen crown to Bernyce Crownover, who was selected to serve in the honorary capacity for the festival and upcoming year.
McNiel noted some of Crownover’s accomplishments, saying, “Thank you so much for the countless hours that you have invested in this community and making it what it is today. Not only are you the founder of our ‘Keep Waxahachie Beautiful’ program, you are also one of the Chamber’s Outstanding Citizens of the Year.”
Also on hand to enjoy the festivities were Bill and Charleene Pitts, marshals of the Crape Myrtle Parade.