A Little Slice of Hometown Heaven
By ANGELA FARR KING
The residents of Vashti prepare and wait for this day all year long. Vashti Day is a yearly tradition in this small farming community that is always highly anticipated. This year, it was held on Saturday, June 24, with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. Residents and parade participants decorated their vehicles with red, white, and blue and they prepared food for a feast to feed the community. The Vashti Fire Department shined up their engines and cooked a spread of breakfast favorites. Patriotic colors were everywhere.
The parade participants gathered at Vashti Baptist Church to sign in and line up for the event. This year, the Grand Marshal of the parade was Vashti resident Shirley Daniels. She was decked out in her patriotic colors complete with a Grand Marshal sash. She rode in a 2016 BMW 435i convertible owned by Dale Chapman. She was driven by her great-grandson, Evan Chapman, and accompanied by two other great-grandchildren, Natalie and Jaden Chapman. It was important for Shirley to mention her great-grandchildren because she is obviously proud of these young adults.
The Sheriff’s Office led the parade, which began at the Baptist Church and proceeded down Vashti Road before looping around to head back to the church. Many parade watchers sat long enough to see the parade go in the opposite direction so they could see it twice. There were colorfully decorated wagons, lots of fire trucks, an assortment of antique cars, and lots of ATVs. The horses and horse drawn buggies were gorgeous with all of the riders waving to the crowd. Children happily scrambled to grab candy thrown from the parade participants.
Like every year, this was a day for a small community to gather together and invite guests. The Vashti residents offered hands of fellowship and sincere welcomes. Some even opened their carports after the parade to strangers for delicious grilled hot dogs and all of the trimmings. The festivities lasted all day long with residents sitting in lawn chairs and visiting with one another. Some shared a second meal and watched a beautiful fireworks display at dark.
Residents were concerned about weather this year because it had been an extremely wet week in Alexander County but the sun shone brightly on Vashti Day 2023.