Metro-East News

Fairview Heights Homecoming returns this summer after last year’s cancellation

The Fairview Heights Homecoming will go on this summer after being called off last year.

“We’re really happy the homecoming is back on. People are glad it’s back,” said Donna McAnderews, president of the Fairview Heights Homecoming Association Committee. She’s held that post for 35 years. “They enjoy their time out there. That’s why I’ve stayed all the years I’ve stayed. I love to go out amongst the crowd to see everybody have a good time.”

The stated reason for last year’s cancellation was a lack of volunteers, but McAndrews also said there was some worry on the part of the city’s police department that there would be trouble during the event due to it falling on the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

A representative of the police department could not be reached for comment.

All proceeds generated during the homecoming go to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

McAndrews said in the 35 years she’s been involved with the event, it’s donated $500,000.

“That’s what we’re about. Nobody gives us any money. Every penny that we make goes into all the parks for the city,” she said. “We’ve helped build pavilions, bathrooms, lights on the ball diamonds, tennis courts.”

The homecoming will be held Aug. 12 and 13 at Moody Park. Events planned for the celebration include:

▪  Friday: Event begins at 6 p.m. with carnival games and rides and food vendors. The 1980s cover band Johnny-Rock Itt plays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

▪  Saturday: Begins at 7 a.m. with arrival of car show participants. Carnival games, rides and vendors continue. The parade begins at 5 p.m. The Smash Band plays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The parade will start at Grant School, head east along Lincoln Trail and then turn south onto Ruby Lane, ending at Moody Park.

Half of Lincoln Trail will be closed to accommodate the parade. Floats will get the eastbound lanes and regular traffic will get the westbound lanes.

According to Jane Windsor, who McAndrews calls her right-hand woman, “The Homecoming Association is looking for kids ages 2-7 that would like to be the next prince and princess of the Fairview Heights Homecoming. The contestants will ride on a float in the parade on Saturday, then they will crown the winners immediately following the parade.” Windsor can be reached at 618-632-7359.

McAndrews said the association is looking for volunteers. She can be reached at 618-234-6350.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND