By Bill Hickerson, Curator, West Tennessee Regional Art Center –
The rain held off until long after that parade had finished at the 80th Strawberry Festival in Humboldt. This community event attracts thousands from across the state and beyond, and is eagerly anticipated each year. The week-long event began on Sunday, May 7. Lisa Bobango, TN Arts Commission chair and Anne Pope, TN Arts Commission executive director took part in the Grand Floats parade on Friday that featured colorful floats, marching bands and festival royalty. The parade also drew legislators including Governor Bill Haslam, Majority Senate Leader Mark Norris, State Representative Johnny Shaw, Representative Curtis Halford and State Representative Jimmy Eldridge among others.
After the parade and Governor’s Luncheon, we were honored to have special guests at the West Tennessee Regional Art Center. Leader Mark Norris and his wife, Chris dropped by and enjoyed viewing our temporary exhibit of Caldwell Collection Works by Self-taught Southern Artists and companion exhibition of sculptures by Hattie Marshall-Duncan. They arrived just after a visit from Anne Pope and Lisa Bobango, who left with strawberries hand-dipped in chocolate, a gift from Carolyn Barnett, a founding board member of the Arts Center and our most dedicated volunteer.
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