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Photo by Sue Watson
Paten Jones (pointing) is excited about her first parade. She is with Owen Worlick and Geneva Hampton.

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Riding in the parade are ICS director Eloise McClinton and Rev. Alonzo McClinton.

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Erma Rogers is one of the longest working employees with ICS Head Start. A center bears her name in Byhalia.

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Brynae Walton plays the flute for the Holly High band.

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Cartoon characters from Celebration Innovation Production Group, Coldwater, entertain during the downtown event. From left are Doc McStuffins, Bianca McMillan, PAW Patrol and Messiah Johnson.

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Photos by Sue Watson
 A balloon release tops off the celebration as two bouquets rise up over court square.

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The Madison S. Palmer band plays and marches with enthusiasm in front of the grandstand.

ICS celebrates 50 years

It takes beautiful floats, lots of motorcyles and horses, hundreds of preschoolers, their parents and teachers, a few judges, high-stepping marching bands, law enforcement sirens blaring, noble speeches, crisp fall weather, perfectly blue sky, and balloon bouquets, to create a wonderful parade.

ICS Head Start celebrated its 50th Anniversary Friday in the hometown where it was started – Holly Springs.

Mayor Kelvin Buck spoke to the crowds first: “You’re here from all over North Mississippi, making small miracles a huge success. I got my start in Head Start as some of your teachers did. Holly Springs made a difference in this community, this state and this nation.”

Three bands participated – Holly Springs High School, North Panola and Madison S. Palmer High School Band from Marks.

Ten floats participated. Taking first Place was the Clen Moore Head Start Center in Coldwater. Second place winner was Crenshaw Head Start Center, and Noxubee Head Start Center won third place.

ICS Executive Director Eloise McClinton was the happiest person in the parade. She expressed appreciation to “our community, our staff, our parents, our children, our board members and all individuals who were in the parade.”

“We are thankful,” she said.

The invocation was said by Alonzo McClinton who quoted lines from the hymn “We Have Come This Far by Faith” – “Leaning on the Lord, Trusting in His Holy Word, He never failed me yet.”

“We come with thanksgiving on our lips; our hearts are joyful today,” he said, “to see the mass of people in our city. We want to thank you for it. We thank God for giving us Moses and Abraham – for the foresight and hindsight. Be with future generations. We thank you for hope, You who are able to do abundantly according to the power that works in us.”

Circuit clerk Lucy Carpenter, who serves on the Head Start board of directors, expressed gratitude for McClinton, her teachers and staff.

“We appreciate you for taking care of our children,” she said. “I hope you enjoy your day and stay with us awhile.”

George Zinn III, with the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, expressed appreciation that in 1967 the people of Marshall County had the vision that early childhood education and care and nourishment could help prepare children for first grade. ICS Head Start was organized first in Marshall and Lafayette counties and now has spread to 21 locations. The board of supervisors has always supported ICS, he said.

“We feel that ICS is one of the engines driving our economic development by childcare and development,” he said. “Congratulations.”

Board chairman Howard Hollins praised ICS for serving families for 50 years and in 14 counties, today.

“What was begun in Marshall and Lafayette counties, extended down to Grenada and all the way back up and over to Benton County,” he said.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388

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