Homecoming: Second annual community celebration Saturday

Published 8:41 pm Thursday, August 1, 2013

For the second consecutive year, Washington will have a homecoming celebration at Beebe Memorial Park. From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Washington residents will be treated to music, fellowship and lots of food.

Organizer Shawn Bryant said he expects to feed about 1,000 people at the free block party.

“We’re going to have hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, green beans and baked beans,” he said. “We have a pig. We’re gonna chop it up and barbecue it.”

The food is free, but Bryant added a few vendors to the mix. They will be selling funnel cakes and snow cones.

In addition to a deejay, Bryant arranged live entertainment. Local acts Tripp Town and Ill Vision will perform. There will also be a step show. Two teams from Greenville and one from Washington have prepared routines especially for the occasion.

Bryant was inspired by a homecoming he attended in Belhaven. He described it as a citywide block party. People rolled out their grills and enjoyed a day outdoors. He arranged last year’s Washington homecoming in two months. He chose the first weekend of August because his birthday is Aug. 3.

“I thought, ‘I could do this.’ So, I just did,” Bryant said. “Pantego has one. Belhaven has one. Washington never had nothing like this. But, we do now, thank God.”

Bryant started planning this year’s homecoming immediately after the last one. The Boys and Girls Club agreed to use their court for the basketball tournament and people volunteered to help him with the rest of the event.

Bryant said it was easier enlisting help because of the success of last year’s event. About 400 people attended and the homecoming went off without a hitch.

More than anything else, Bryant loved seeing people of all ages enjoying the day together.

“It’s not just for blacks, its for the whole county,” Bryant said. “It’s for everybody.”

For more information about the event or to donate food or drinks, call Shawn Bryant at 796-7198.