Yaz Summer Blast returns this weekend

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

Summertime is officially here and the city of Yazoo City will be celebrating the upcoming Fourth of July weekend in style with the return of its annual Yaz Summer Blast.

Starting on Friday, June 29, the people of Yazoo City are invited to attend Glow Night at the Wardell Leach Recreational Complex.

David Green, executive assistant to Mayor Diane Delaware and member of the Yaz Summer Blast organizing committee, said that Friday's Glow Night will be especially fun for the children of Yazoo City.

"They will give out glasses and necklaces that light up, and we will have fireworks as well," Green said. "There will also be a few inflatables out there for the kids."

One of the more exciting entertainment objects for children will be a duck-and-jump obstacle ride called "The Meltdown."

Also beginning on Friday at 10 a.m. is the Photo Scavenger Hunt for people of all ages. 

Green said that participants will find the clues to the scavenger hunt posted outside of City Hall, located at 128 East Jefferson Street in downtown Yazoo City. 

"The scavenger hunt is going to take place over the entire weekend," Green said. "Starting on Friday, when the list of clues comes out, you can either get somebody to take your picture with the item on the list, or you can take a selfie with it."

Green added that once a person gathers pictures of every item on the list, they must report to the Mayor's Table by Sunday afternoon, July 1, at 5 p.m. with their photos as proof that they have completed the contest.

The winner of the contest will receive the Grand Prize, which will be a flat screen television, donated by the Public Service Commission of Yazoo City.

The people of Yazoo City are also invited to enjoy the Class Reunion Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 30, which will travel from Jackson Avenue all the way down to Main Street.  Many of the parade floats and participants are members of various graduating classes from Yazoo City High School.

Green added that a very special visitor will be taking part in the parade as well.

"Yazoo City’s very own Mike Espy will be the grand marshal for the Yaz Summer Blast Class Reunion parade," he said. "He will also be the guest speaker at the Yazoo Days Banquet at McCoy Elementary School."

Espy graduated from Yazoo City High School in 1971. After receiving degrees from Howard University and Santa Clara University School of Law, he went on to serve as the United States Secretary of Agriculture under President Bill Clinton.

"It is with great pleasure and honor that we welcome Mr. Espy back home," said Green.

Other Yaz Summer Blast events on Saturday night and Sunday night will take place starting at 7 p.m. downtown on Main Street in Yazoo City.

"All of these events are just for people to come together and have a good time, to relax and hear good music." Green said.

Saturday's theme, "Moves and Grooves," and Sunday's "Finale," will both consist of live music from artists such as Bridget Shields, Henry Rhodes, Mike Rob, Dr. D, Eddie Cotton, and the 601 Band.

Fireworks and food vendors will also be present as a part of the festivities on Saturday and Sunday night.

Green said that a large turnout is expected at this year’s Yaz Summer Blast, especially since several hundred people were in attendance last year.

"A lot of people are having their class reunions this weekend," Green said. "So it may be more people this year than we have normally had."

Green said that festivals like Yaz Summer Blast give pride to the people of Yazoo City.

"It makes them feel like they have something to look forward to," he said. "Being from such a small town, and knowing that these festivals are getting better every year, gives us the feeling that we have something to call our own."