Cotton Carnival week will once again offer plenty of activities

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Sikeston American Legion member Chester Kordahl places the American flag in the bracket on the Legion's hamburger and fish trailer Tuesday. The Sikeston American Legion Post 114 is gearing up for its 69th annual Cotton Carnival, which is set for Sept. 24-28 at the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo grounds. Food, carnival rides, pageants and a parade are part of the event that draws thousands of people each year. Leonna Heuring,Staff

SIKESTON -- Nearly 70 years ago American Legion Henry Meldrum Post 114 created the Cotton Carnival and parade as a homecoming for World War II veterans.

Today the annual fall event -- which marks its 69th year -- remains a time for past and present residents of Sikeston reunite with one another.

"Everybody grew up at the Cotton Carnival," said American Legion member Chester Kordahl "It's family reunion time."

Vickie Wilson, district president of the American Legion Auxiliary, agreed.

"The good thing about the Cotton Carnival is that people have started planning their class reunions around the week of Cotton Carnival and renew their friendships and see people they haven't seen in years," Wilson said. "It's always been a draw for that, and for people to come back and reacquaint themselves with some people they haven't seen in years is wonderful."

Kordahl oversees the American Legion Henry Meldrum Post No. 114's famous fish sandwich stand and said every year he hears people talk about their love for the Cotton Carnival.

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