DIBOLL — The City of Diboll is gearing up for its 59th celebration of Diboll Day this Saturday, Oct. 6.
Fund-raising events were held throughout the month of September in preparation for the event. Prior to the city’s community pride day, Diboll High School will celebrate its homecoming festivities Friday with a list of pre-game activities before the Diboll Lumberjacks take on the Tatum Eagles.
The city hosts its Diboll Day celebration every other year, alternating with its sister city of Pineland. Since 1953, the Diboll Booster Club has raised $4 million for the community through the event. Diboll Day has helped fund numerous community projects for youth and senior citizens. Diboll ISD Superintendent Gary Martel, the Diboll Booster Club president, said the event is important to the community from a financial standpoint, but he places even more value on the idea of bringing the community together as one big, happy family.
“The money raised at Diboll Day is important, but it’s not the only thing,” he said. “Now it’s turned into a deal where people come home. They come home to go to Diboll Day.”
Diboll Day will begin at 7 a.m. with the vendors setting up in the park. The Diboll Day parade starts at 10 a.m.
The Diboll varsity cheerleaders will sponsor the cheer competition from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Pop Rich Field. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., children activities and food/craft booths will be available to the public. The DHS Alumni Association will also be set up during this time at the Rotary Pavilion. From 1-3 p.m., the Diboll Volleyball Team/Girls Athletics will hold a sand volleyball tournament.
Martel will welcome guests to the event at 12:30 p.m. at the Main Pavilion. The Lottie Temple Award Presentation and parade award presentations will be given out during this time, along with the Queen Coronation. Emily Parish, Courtney Shivers, Audrey Tamez and Isabella Tamez are the four candidates this year, and they have been working hard to raise money, according to Martel.
“Four great families with four great queen candidates have worked their tails off this month, and need to be commended,” he said.
There will also be a grand prize drawing, with the winner receiving a red 2012 Chevy Camaro.
At 1:30 p.m., country artist Mark Chesnutt will perform in the main pavilion.
“We’re bringing him in for a free concert,” Martel said. “People can come out at 1:30 and listen to a country music star that still travels all over, and still has good and fun music to listen to. He’s going to play for an hour and we’ll have a good time, and you can do it sitting right out there in the park.”
The Diboll Youth Softball team will hold its Washer Tournament at 2:45 p.m. at Pop Rich Field. From 6-9 p.m., the Diboll High School 90th Celebration Reception will be held at the Diboll Civic Center. Concluding the day’s events is the DHS “All Year’s Reunion Dance” at the Civic Center, where everyone can meet up and celebrate with family and friends.
This year, the organizers have had to improvise on the planning process as Martel said many of their usual available resources and vendor connections are no longer present. Working on the project has been a labor of love, he said, because he did not want the tradition to end. Instead of putting one month into preparations, Martel said he has spent 16 months.
“You had groups within Temple that always had connections with vendors,” he said. “We’ve had to back off of that this year. So we haven’t seen the vendors give as much as always. Temple has always given what they could, and International Paper has been wonderful in the whole deal. The T.L.L. Temple foundation has been good to us. But this year was a challenge because the soliciting of the vendors was not the same as it had been in the past.”
Martel said he and the Booster Club board have embraced the challenges.
“We said, ‘OK, we understand (it’s) going to be hard,’ and we did this, this and this to make it happen. And, to me, that’s leadership.”
The methods Martel and the board utilized this year to organize the event may set a foundation for the years to come. Martel wants to use the event to give back to the community and make sure Diboll Day is always a true homecoming where people can come together and reminisce.
Diboll Day is sponsored by the Diboll Booster Club. Donations were made by the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, First Bank and Trust, and Commercial Bank. September fund-raising events were sponsored by Buddy and Ellen Temple, First Bank & Trust, Brookshire Bros., and Temple-Inland.
For more information about Diboll Day and the list of scheduled events, visit www.dibollday.org.
Melissa Heard’s email address is email@example.com.