THOMASVILLE — A small group of community members are striving to revive Meigs with the return of Cotton Festival Oct. 4.

The theme, organizers said, is “The past is gone, the future is coming and cotton is still present.”

“The festival is to help aid in bringing the community together,” Christine Frazier, president of Sisters In Unity, event sponsor, said. “Meigs is not only divided as a city, but it is also divided as a people. There are so many different prejudices around here. That has been basically all our lives, but it has never been this divided. We are hoping to bridge the gap where we are divided.”

Frazier said jobs are mostly gone in Meigs, but cotton has always been the job there.

“The West farmers and Four Corners Gin have been a significant other to the citizens in Meigs,” she said. “They have provided jobs to the citizens of the community.”

Festival events will include a 10 a.m. parade, arts and crafts and a variety of vendors selling foods, jams and jellies, toys and other items. Vendors and activities of interest include pool room hot dogs, funnel cakes, wacky balloon creations, belt creations, bouncing bag, giant slides, carousel and the Buffalo Soldiers of Cairo.

Sisters In Unity was formed Jan. 1 by Frazier and vice president Amanda Walton.

“We started out with a Black History Banquet and two other women — Linda Eason and Catherine McNeil —joined us,” Frazier said. “Our goal is to promote community togetherness.”

Kicking off the festivities is the Meigs Pageant, held 6 p.m. Sept. 20 in Meigs Community Center. There is no admission price but donations will be accepted, officials said.

The pageant consists of Lil Wee Miss Meigs, Lil Miss Meigs, Jr. Miss Meigs and Miss Meigs. Contestant ages range from 4 to 21 years old. All winners will be awarded and crowned.

Contestants are:

• Lil Wee Miss Meigs — Alaysia Caldwell and Jessica Frazier.

• Lil Miss Meigs — Shedricka Jenkins, Sarah Simpson, Destiny Ivey, Brandy Copeland, Tchanbannia McMillian and Shantierra Watkins.

• Jr. Miss Meigs —Ciera Eason, Denise Collins and Rolanda Jones.

• Miss Meigs — Kaneisha Copeland, Jasmine McNeil, Santiria Mitchell, J’Tara Vicks, Ulexia West and Ericka Jenkins.

Sisters In Unity intends to use funds raised from the festival, pageant and future events to aid community residents in need with utility bills, groceries and other items.

“I believe in what we have set out to do,” Walton said. “Sisters in Unity wants to bring love, peace and a sense of community back to Meigs. That is what we need. It’s been so long since things have been well in Meigs; even the Christmas parade was stopped. Cotton Festival was held in the mid-1990s for one year — that was it. We wanted to revive it. We hope people will come out and share in our goal. We plan to continue the festival every year for as long as God gives us breath.”



WHAT: Meigs Cotton Festival

WHEN: 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Oct. 4

WHERE: In front of Meigs City Hall Annex off Railroad Street and Ga. 111

INFO: Call Christine Frazier at 393-1512 or Amanda Walton at 294-8855



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