By Rita Cook / News Editor
OVILLA – Every year for the past 32 years the city of Ovilla has celebrated with its much-loved Heritage Day.
This year is no different and this weekend, Sept. 22, as many as 4,000 people are expected to attend the annual event, according to Ashley Thompson from the Ovilla Police Department.
This year’s theme; “Ovilla Small Town Texas Strong.”
Like in year’s past, the day will begin with a half-mile parade winding its way down the streets of Ovilla to City Hall. Parade onlookers will be able to see a variety of floats from an assortment of area businesses and residents. Last year’s parade showcased more than 25 entrants.
The parade’s grand marshal this year is the Midlothian Heritage High School 2017-2018 State Champions girls’ Soccer team.
After the parade opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the park grounds behind the City Hall building.
For entertainment, the Red Oak Opry will be returning to perform, and those in attendance will also be able to eat and browse with a variety of food vendors, craft vendors, a petting zoo, a climbing wall and slides.
“Heritage Day is always a great event here in Ovilla,” Ovilla mayor Richard Dormier said.
Heritage Day in Ovilla began in 1985.
Previously, the Ovilla Chamber of Commerce held several special “get together days” in the late ’70s. Those events were held in the spring, and included a running event and community party.
In the mid-1980s to bring the city together and develop an all-inclusive community spirit the city council, led by then Mayor Charlie Morton, decided to emulate the trend being seen in several surrounding cities, including Red Oak’s Founders Day.
At the time, Heritage Day started small with a few booths and local craftsmen displaying their products.
Then Mayor Morton finalized the layout of the booths, installed electricity and set the date as the fourth Saturday in September.
The rest, as they say, is history and the City of Ovilla has been making the annual heritage event each year bigger and better than the one’s before.
“We hope everyone comes out to enjoy the parade and visit with their neighbors,” Dormier concluded. “There will be lots of food and many vendors to purchase items from.”