Chronicle staff writer

The city of Ovilla is gearing up for its 22nd annual Heritage Day to take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, at the city’s ball park.

This year’s theme is “Make a Difference: Volunteer.”

Held the fourth Saturday in September, city secretary Miykael Reeve said the event is intended to get more people involved in the city.

“With this year’s theme, the fact remains the same that we’re trying to recruit more volunteers in the city of Ovilla to help out,” Reeve said of the event. “We are such a small city and want to get as many volunteers to participate because a lot of people are not sure of how to get involved and, hopefully this year, we’ll have a lot of information to let people know how they can become more involved in the community.

“This is an event for people to meet people and get a chance to get involved, while enjoying great food and music throughout the day,” she said. “We have new people who move into the community every day, so we are a growing city. A lot of times, we try to get some of the local businesses to come out and that kind of allows people with some familiarity of the businesses we have here. This also gives people an opportunity to mingle with different churches.”

The festivities kick off with a parade at 9:15 a.m., beginning at Ovilla Baptist Church and end at the park. The Red Oak High School band will perform after the parade, with additional bands providing entertainment the remainder of the day.

Texas Prairie Band, a bluegrass band, will play from 10:15-11 a.m.; Encounter Band will play from 11:15 a.m.-noon; Cowboy Band of Ellis County will play from 12:15-1 p.m.; and Salt Rock Rounders Band, a bluegrass band, will play from 1:15-2 p.m.

A bluegrass jam session will be held from 2-4 p.m., with different bands from the bluegrass community playing.

“It will sort of be like an open-stage type of concert,” Reeve said. “We already have several people who’ve signed up to play as of right now.”

There will be about 75 booths set up to provide information, food and handmade crafts.

Reeve said several people from the Waxahachie, Midlothian and Red Oak areas already have booths reserved, noting booths are still available for rent.

Exhibitors include Vintage Bank of Ovilla; the Pink Pig; CenterPointe Church; Ovilla United Methodist Church; the Ovilla Service League; Church of Christ of Red Oak; Ovilla Fire Department; Ovilla Police Department; Beth Green, who will do sand art, hair coloring and face painting, tattoos and crafts; and Tu Nguyen of Ennis, who will sell ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy and more.

“Every year, we add a few more booths but we always have a good time out here and that’s the most important thing,” Reeve said. “We will also have a person on hand doing an antique appraisal. For the children, we will have a petting zoo and a bounce house.”

Reeve said the event usually experiences a good turnout.

“We had a really good turnout last year but, right after the parade, we had a huge thunderstorm so people left,” she said. “We are hoping that it does not rain this year.”

During the event, Ovilla Mayor Bill Turner, will present this year’s grand marshall, Dale Helm, with the Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedication and volunteerism shown in the city.

“Mr. Helm is an avid volunteer in the community and he has been really inspirational to our community,” Reeve said. “He helps with community blood drives and takes good care of most of the parks. If anyone needs him for anything, he’s there.”

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