I can’t say enough about the success of our Star Spangled Celebration on the River.  The weather was perfect, the vendors were wonderful, the music was super, the crowd was huge and the fireworks were stunning.  Most of all, we had a great time.  The estimate is that there were between 4,000 – 5,000 at the Petal River Park.  We were hoping for 1,500.  This event was a year in the planning.  It was a pleasure to work with our friends across the river in Hattiesburg.  Kudos to the city of Hattiesburg, the city of Petal, and Forrest County for providing the resources necessary to make this a family friendly, safe event for everyone.  The support from VisitHattiesburg and the ADP was invaluable. And I can’t leave out my great friend, Andrea Saffle, director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association for her enthusiasm, experience and great humor.

If I learned anything, it is that our community loves to get together and celebrate with each other. It’s heartwarming to see kids playing and families listening music while enjoying good ole fair food.  We need more of this!  But, there is the reality that it costs a lot of money and requires a lot of planning and a hoard of volunteers.  Please support and thank our sponsors who made this possible.  Here is a list.  They all deserve a big pat on the back and your loyalty.

Coca-Cola of Hattiesburg, The First, IHeart Radio, Grove Transit, Gulfsouth Productions, Visit Hattiesburg, Party Box Rentals, Fairley Construction, Dandy Dan’s Smith Petroleum, Mississippi Power, Bourne Brothers, Chick Fil A, Signs First, Keith’s Superstores, Grand Bank, Magnolia State Bank, Trustmark Bank, Central Sunbelt FCU, Carter’s Jewelers, American Graphics, A-1 Grapics, Puckett Rents, Hancock Whitney Bank, Taylor Rental, Stokes Distributing and Southern Beverage.

The volunteers were the heart of this event.  I know that I will leave someone out, but I will attempt to list all of the fabulous groups that gave up their opportunity to relax and enjoy the evening.  Thank you to the Cosmopolitan Club of Petal, the Petal Jaycees, the Petal High School Ambassadors, The 177th Armored Division of Camp Shelby, Dick Pryzbelski, David Ruffin, Zach Vaughn, David Bassett, many individuals and the board of directors of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce.

As we plan for next year, please consider being a part of the event as a sponsor or volunteer.  It takes all of us!