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Homecoming event planned in Atmore

Thousands of people are expected to be strolling along Pensacola Avenue this Saturday as the Great Atmore Homecoming takes place during Williams Station Day.

Sheryl Vickery, director of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, said the event is filled with everything imaginable for this special celebration.

“We have been working on this Homecoming event for Williams Station Day for months now,” Vickery said. “It’s going to have everything you can imagine. There will certainly be something to interest anyone of any age during the weekend.”

Festivities will get an official beginning Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a special ceremony.

“As part of the Great Atmore Homecoming we will have a special ceremony unveiling a new historical marker in Atmore,” Vickery said. “Our celebration is part of the ‘Small Town, Down Town’ event promoted by the Alabama Department of Tourism and Gov. Riley. We will be unveiling the marker made possible because of our part in that statewide celebration.”

Vickery said the ceremony will be held at the train depot downtown at 3 p.m. and everyone is invited to join in the event.

On Saturday, the daylong celebration will begin with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., Vickery said.

“We have scheduled an opening ceremony unlike any other we’ve ever had,” Vickery said. “Every member of our diverse community will be represented during the 30 minute ceremony.”

Marilyn Stamps of the Alabama Department of Tourism will be on hand to kick-off the event, Vickery said. She will be followed by Mayor Howard Shell and Chamber President Lisa Reynolds.

“We are planning to have Robert Thrower provide the prayer for our ceremony,” Vickery said. “He will deliver the prayer in English and in the Creek language. We will also have some dancers from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians performing during the ceremony. The Escambia County Middle School Choir will sing the National Anthem and we have a gospel choir to perform following the ceremony.”

Entertainment is also planned throughout the day with a variety of music and performances, Vickery said.

A group of performers will also be making Williams Station Day a reunion as well, Vickery said.

“We will have Kool Tools performing on our main stage this year,” Vickery said. “This is a group of performers who haven’t played together since the 1960s. In the group are Glen Helton and Eddie Seales from our area. There are other members of the group from New Jersey, Texas, Florida, North Alabama and Gulf Shores. They are excited to get back together and we’re excited to have them perform for us.”

Those scheduled to perform throughout the day include Twirl Time, First Degree, Deep South, Down Home, Roy Harper and others.

“We will have Wanda Johnson in our Story Tellers tent,” Vickery said. “We also have Gary Ledbetter who will be performing magic tricks on stage and in our children’s village. He’ll be strolling through the crowd throughout the day amazing children and adults with his performance.”

Vickery also said the model train display will be in the library inside the Community Center throughout the day.

The Cruisers, an antique car club, will have a car show at Heritage Park, Vickery said. A static train display will also be on hand.

“The car show will be held at Heritage Park to allow the club members more space and a little more freedom,” Vickery said. “The static train display will also be set up for tours of the train.”

Vickery said a hayride will be running throughout the show area from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will make continuous trips between the festival area and Heritage Park. A Children’s train will also provide some thrills for the younger attendees.

“It’s going to be a great weekend capped off with our reunion celebration Saturday night,” Vickery said. “This year’s Williams Station Day event is going to be the best celebration this town has seen in many years. We are excited about everything that is planned and being offered. It’s going to be a great time.”

Food will be plentiful at the event in the food court area. Vendors will sell a variety of food items with something to satisfy any taste.

For details on vendors planned for Williams Station Day, contact the Atmore Chamber of Commerce at 368-3305.