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Florala celebration dates to 1871

The biggest week of the year is about to get under way in Florala as the community plays host to world’s oldest consecutive annual Masonic Day celebration.

The celebration is in honor of St. John’s Day, June 24, 1717, when the first Grand Masonic Lodge in England was established. The celebration is held each year on the Friday before the 24th of June and concluding on the Saturday after the 24th.

Florala has played host to a celebration since 1871, through Florala’s Fidelity Masonic Lodge #685 (beginning with Chapel Hill and Lake City Lodge #377), and Chapter #441 of the Order of the Eastern Star.

This year’s activities begin today (see schedule). But perhaps the highlight for youngsters will be the week-long carnival.

The 24th of June committee is sponsoring the carnival featuring C&M Southern Midways. According to the company’s web sit, its major rides include a roundup, octopus, paratrooper, ferris wheel, sizzler and gravatron.

Family rides include a merry-go-round, swings, a slide and mini pirate ship. Kiddie rides include bounce houses, a dragon wagon, airplanes, motorcycles and elephants.

Sat., June 23

  • 5 a.m. – Check in time for the bass tournament on Lake Jackson.
  • 8 a.m. – Alligator Trot 5K
  • Noon – Bass tourney weigh-in and awarding of trophies.
  • 4 p.m. – Womanless beauty pageant at Florala High School gym.

 

Mon., June 25

  • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Carnival on Lake Jackson at airplane/boat ramp.
  • 6 p.m. – Anything Goes kids parade, followed by children’s water battle on the Square.

 

Tues., June 26

  • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Carnival on Lake Jackson at airplane/boat ramp.
  • 7 p.m. – Miss 24th of June Pageant at Florala High School, baby, toddler, petite, tiny miss andlittle miss divisions.

 

Wed., June 27

  • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Carnival on Lake Jackson at airplane/boat ramp.
  • 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Florala Booster and Alumni Sports Club spaghetti supper and auction, Florala High School lunchroom.
  • 6 p.m. – Masonic Gospel Sing at FHS, featuring The Kemptes, a vintage gospel band.

 

Thurs., June 28

  • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Carnival on Lake Jackson at airplane/boat ramp.
  • 5 p.m. – Money scramble at Lake Jackson
  • 5:30 p.m. – Children’s events near the pier.
  • 7 p.m. – Miss 24th of June Pageant at Florala High School, young miss, teen miss, junior miss and miss divisions.

 

Fri., June 29

  • 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. – Carnival on Lake Jackson at airplane/boat ramp.
  • 5 p.m. – Children’s chalk drawing contest at Simply Chic
  • 6 p.m. – Bingo at Florala H igh School, howested by Florala cheerleaders and basketball team.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Crowning of Masonic king and queen at the MASTAR building.
  • 9 p.m. – Street dance at R.J. Evans building featuring Chad Street

 

Sat., June 30

  • 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dixie Antique Power Sponsored Tractor Show (across from Marathon station)
  • 8:40 a.m. – Masonic march
  • 9 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Music on the Square
  • 9 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Arts and crafts at Lake Jackson, sponsored by the FHS Band Boosters
  • 10 a.m. – until – Carnival on Lake Jackson at airplane/boat ramp.
  • 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Children’s events at Lake Jackson
  • 3 p.m. – Water battle on Main Street
  • 9 p.m. – Fireworks at Lake Jackson

9 p.m. – Street dance at the R.J. Evans building featuring River Chase Bank