Potlatch Reunion

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Finding a way to bring it back - October 8, 2016

It’s baaaack! Just what so many people have been asking for—POTLATCH! It’s the revival of the two-day festival held in the 80s that was attended by thousands and beloved by everyone. Main Street Manager Cindy Deloney is one who has fond memories of the Potlatch days and has been instrumental in bringing it back this year. “Everyone kept posting on Facebook, encouraging me to find a way to bring it back. When I began posting some old photos, the response was tremendous.”


Here are some of the Facebook comments:

·         So much fun! Those were the good ole days. Wish Potlatch would come back-Melissa Garrett Turner

·         Watching lip syncing was my favorite event. Miss it!-Dwayne Yount

·         Remember the mechanical bull? Everyone thought they were Bud or Sissy.-Roberta Collinsworth

·         Clogged every year but one. It was a lot of fun and better than boot camp! It seems so long ago, but we’ll never forget the fun and performing.–Bob Gober

·         Remember the old cars you could smash up?-Monica Wilkins Mason

·         Flower power and the pillow fight along with the ladder climb—my dad built that!-Jennifer McNatt Mattingly

·         1986, first gig-me, Nate, Rusty, Kent and Brad Moon playing as “Blitz.” We did 5 songs, I think.-Reid Kerr

·         Loved Potlatch. Had so many through the years tell me they miss it. I know it is a lot of work, but it would be great to have it back.-Dana Griffin Clark

·         I remember when the Band Boosters started selling fajitas. The smell filled the Expo Center. I still get heartburn every time I think of the HOT root beer chugging contest.-Doug Young

·         Our 4-H Boots and Saddle Club sold nachos. Lots of great memories.-Misty Cherry Owens

·         I still laugh when I think about us all running the wedding booth freshman year. I still have the picture somewhere and some wedding license with Adriane was the minister and you were the witness.-Shana Carson Dickens

·         I remember all those hamburgers and French fries we cooked and sold for the Athletic Booster Club.-Sarah Jordan Baker

·         The horse trailer jail.-Bradley Davidson

·         Me, Wesley, and Calvin doing Def Leppard. Wes played drums with one arm! Ha Ha, we won 2nd place!-Ryan Medlin

·         I made my 15 minutes of fame in the Teen Tent along with 3 other besties! I think I still have that shirt somewhere. I remember the kickoff event…the corn cooking contest and many of our town’s best showed  up in costumes and cooked all kinds of recipes.-Donna Wilson Alexander

·         I remember having to help my parents sell baked potatoes every year. Do we think our kids would help these days? Remember the sawdust everywhere?-Stacie Steptoe Smith

·         I remember our mom’s sorority booth selling baked potatoes! So much fun.-Leslie Bunyard Glaze

·         Face painting, funnel cakes and pillow fighting!-Susannah Ross Romero

“I told them we were on ‘go’ but we needed volunteers. Our parents did all the work years ago and now it’s our generation’s turn. The response has been great, but we still need more people willing to work.”

Committees are in the process of meeting and finalizing just which events will be brought back to the “Potlatch Reunion.” From comments above, the favorites included the Teen Tent with lip-syncing, the pillow fight, mechanical bull, Jacob’s ladder and then lots and lots of food from a variety of non-profit organizations in the community who wish to raise money.

Some of the events from the Oil & Gas Blast will still be a part of the Potlatch festival. As usual, inside the Civic Center will be the arts and crafts and retail booths. Anyone wishing to rent a 10X10 space can fill out an application and pay online at www.carthagetexas.com. An application may also be printed from that same page or may be picked up at City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce. The booth fee is $40 if registered by October 3. AFTER THAT DATE, THE REGISTRATION FEE GOES UP TO $75, so please register early.

The Keith McIlwain Car Show is another mainstay from the Oil & Gas Blast days. With registration beginning at 8:00am, sixteen classes of “Pre 1980” vehicles will be on display. For more information contact Keith at 903.690.1401.

The Karaoke Contest is in it’s third year and has seen some really great contestants hit the stage. If you saw last year’s contest, you will remember the adorable performance by Callen Ritter and hope that he returns for an encore performance this year. Rodney Wooten is in charge of the contest and cash prizes will be awarded to the winners. Contact 903.693.6634 for registration details.

The Halloween Costume Contest sponsored by Main Street will be held on the main stage in the Civic Center. Cash prizes in five categories, scariest, funniest, cutest, most original and judge’s choice will be awarded. Registration is at 10am in the Civic Center.

The festival begins at 10:00am and will expand to the Expo Center where the children’s area and the Teen Tent will be stationed. The famous Potlatch t-shirts, designed by Wanda Hanszen, will bring back one of the original designs and will be available at City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce for $20. Remember…to make Potlatch successful, volunteers are needed to help organize all the events. These are the committee chairpersons. If there’s a particular area you would like to help with, contact these people: arts/crafts vendors-Teresa Dennard, 903.754.4000; car show-Keith McIlwain, 903.690.1401; costume contest-Main Street, 903.693.0160; entertainment-Tommie Smith, 903.693.6634; karaoke contest-Rodney Wooten, 903.754.1961; promotion-Cindy Deloney, 903.736.2273; food vendors-Denise McCloud, 903.690.2063; decorating-Scott Reeves, 501.538.4740; sponsors-Wade Allums, 903.754.0100; children’s area-Melissa Turner, 903.690.2435; teen tent-Mark Harris, 903.692.3836 and Doug Spradley, 903.754.7065; memorabilia-Katie Davis, 903.754.4311 and Tonya Cooke, 903.754.1676.

For information and details: www.carthagetexas.com