HOWE — A gorgeous spring day welcomed folks home to Howe Saturday, as well as those who have never been there before. The town took time out of a busy spring weekend to celebrate its railroad roots and sample some of the simple pleasures of life with its annual Founder’s Day event.
Two people who showed up for the fun have been coming to Founder’s Day ever since it began. Jerry Foster, who now lives in Sherman, and Harvey Morris, of Howe, said they try not to miss the town’s yearly celebration. While they ate their ice creams in the shade, they reminisced about going to school in the town back in the 1950s.
“We graduated top ten in our class,” Morris said after noting there were only 100 students in the whole school at the time.
Morris, who left town after graduation to go into the military, said when people asked what they did for fun in his rural hometown, he would jokingly tell them that on the weekends he and his friends would gather downtown to watch them turn off the stoplight.
There is a lot more going on in downtown these days, the two said ,and Monte Walker, Howe’s director of economic development, agreed.
“We are just like a lot of other small towns, we have small town values and I think that’s what separates us from other communities,” Walker said. “We have very strong values. We’re real proud of where we are as a city.”
He said the city starts working on the Founder’s Day event in January and works right up until the day of the event.
Walker said the number of vendors is down just a tad this year, but he still expected everyone would have a good time. He said the event is put on in conjunction with the Howe Hall of Honor, which recognizes historical leaders of the community.
Last year, the town was just starting to recover from the tornado that blew through the area shortly before the annual Founder’s Day celebration. Walker said never has he been more proud of the community. He said by Founder’s Day, it was hard to even tell there had been a tornado.
While the lawnmower races were a big attraction later in the day, the streets were packed early with vendors selling everything from fried Oreos to Tupperware and Lipsense.
Cindi Braudrick manned her Tupperware booth and said the Howe festival seemed like a fun idea when she heard about it. She said this was her first year taking part, but she thinks she will likely be back.
Across the street from her, Tracey Stebbins was selling books in her booth. The Howe resident said she loved to come to the event to support the town and see everyone.
“There are usually tons of people and I’ve really done well here,” she said.
Stebbins said Howe is a great community and called Founder’s Day a great time to get together and celebrate the community.