Stanley’s 51st annual homecoming celebration runs through Saturday

Page News and Courier

STANLEY ― Now in its 51st year, the town's annual homecoming festivities are aimed at offering bigger acts, brighter lights and bustling crowds.

The action was slated to kick off at Wednesday. The four-day celebration includes a nightly carnival, food, entertainment and activities.

New this year is a singing competition “I've Got a Voice,” in which local and regional singers will compete in two installments for a chance to win top honors.

Nightly entertainment at the event's headquarters at Ed Good Park includes performances by both local favorites and nationally-renowned acts, including High Ground Bluegrass, The Promiseland, Relentless, Neon Summer and Thundergun.

“The new committee has been very active and they're very excited,” said Stanley Town Manager Terry Pettit, referencing the disbandment of the event's longtime and aging committee members following last year's 50th annual celebration.

With the future of the event up in the air at the time, and rumors that the town's Homecoming would become a thing of the past, Pettit noted that this year's installment will “prove quite the contrary” thanks to an extended lineup and inaugural vocal competition.

Stanley's 51st annual Homecoming will culminate at 5 p.m. Saturday with a Grand Homecoming Parade featuring Miss Virginia and Ben Jones, who portrayed “Cooter” in the hit 1980s CBS show “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

The parade will be followed by the presentation of town awards at 7 p.m. and the finale of the “I've Got a Voice” competition at 8 p.m. Thundergun will then take the state from 9 p.m. till midnight, pausing for a finale of fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

The carnival opens each day at 6 p.m., with music beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.

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