Lumpkins Stadium was re-opened in grand fashion Friday night with a dedication ceremony highlighted by a speech by Stuart B. Lumpkins Jr., the son of the stadium’s namesake.

The theme of the night was pride: Pride for the city and pride for the Lumpkins family members who were in attendance.

“We’re excited to be back. This is kind of like a homecoming to get a chance to come back and see all the wonderful people of Waxahachie,” Lumpkins Jr. said. “I do get that swelling of pride every time I drive past the stadium. This is a place that’s home and will always be home. My dad grew up here; I grew up here. Every time I drive up on (U.S. Highway) 287, I look at the stadium and remember all the great times and see how the community has grown.”

Before the ceremony, Lumpkins Jr.’s brother-in-law, Terry Neal, drew comparisons to the dedication event nearly 40 years ago.

“(Lumpkins) was sick when Debbie and I got married and the dedication they did then was really nice,” Neal said. “I don’t get down here much anymore, but when I do see the stadium I always think that it’s hard to believe.”

Neal expects the stadium to be a point of pride for decades to come.

“The prestige Waxahachie will have with all the other teams coming in will make it great for everybody,” Neal said.

But the most important facet about the newly redesigned stadium is the name on it.

“This is just continuing the legacy that my dad started when he was a lawyer and longtime school board member here,” Lumpkins Jr. said prior to his speech. “When they built the original stadium, they built it to honor him so it’s just created a tradition and a legacy for my family.”

For complete coverage of the stadium reopening ceremony, see section B.

Contact Billy at b.wessels@wninews.com or 469-517-1454.