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Founder’s Day full of activities

Valley Grande residents will mark the city’s 2003 incorporation with a Founder’s Day Celebration on May 9. Vendors will offer everything from burgers and hot dogs to flowers and shrubbery. The event, which will be held at the city’s walking trail on County Road 16, is a chance to showcase the still-growing city, councilwoman Patsy Moore said.

“It’s a good place for the family to come and enjoy,” she said. “They get to come out to Valley Grande and see what a nice place it is.”

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., people can listen to bluegrass music, view arts and crafts, and eat their weight in a variety of foods. So far, Moore said more than 30 vendors have registered for the celebration. With about two weeks left, Moore said she expects even more phone calls.

“Everything’s going real well,” she said. “It’s falling into place.”

The city recently extended the pavilion and began constructing permanent restrooms at the walking trail. The concrete slab has been poured, and workers are slated to begin work on the structure May 1. Mayor Tom Lee said he hopes the restrooms will be completed in time for Founder’s Day.

“We’re going to try to see during that last week if we can’t make a mad dash and get those restrooms functional,” he said.

Either way, Lee said he expects quite a crowd at the celebration. When the city settled on the date, which falls on Mother’s Day weekend, Lee said there was some concern about attendance. He soon found out that families flocked to the event.

“You get a lot of families that are coming together locally,” Lee said. “It gives them some really decent activity.”

Moore said the walking trail is an ideal site for the celebration. She said the combination of open spaces and shade trees could not be beat.

“It’s just a nice place to have it,” Moore said. “And it’s shady.”

Councilwoman Donna Downs said she loves seeing the people milling around, eating food and enjoying the walking trail. She estimated around 500 people usually attend the celebration.

“Seeing the people out there, it’s just like one big happy family,” she said.

Lee agreed.

“It’s growing every year,” he said.