Aug. 5—OXFORD — The Masonic Homecoming Festival will take place in October, just as usual, but "usual" was interrupted for two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last held in 2019, the Masonic Homecoming will brighten the weekend of Oct. 7-9 this year with a celebration of the Masonic Home for Children's impact on the lives of young people and its contributions to the community.
Gene Purvis, vocational counselor at the Home and one of the planners of the event, said the celebration will have its familiar features and some interesting changes.
"We try to expand the activities each year," he said.
There will be a food truck rodeo to offer more choices of foods, although guests will also be able to sample products of the barbecue context.
Activities will include a choo-choo train ride for kids, rock wall climbing for the more athletically inclined, and a smokehouse, an educational event provided by the fire department.
The weekend activities will begin on Friday, Oct. 7, with the 24th annual Chip Shots for Children Charlie Burton Invitational Charity Golf Tournament at South Granville Country Club and Golf Course in Creedmoor.
On Friday evening, a reception will be held on the Masonic Home campus to formally begin the festivities. There will be music throughout the evening.
An opening ceremony on Saturday morning will kick off a day of games, open house tours, a barbecue contest, twisted balloons and the food truck rodeo.
At 11 a.m.. the Shrine and Community Parade will march from downtown Oxford down College Street to the Masonic Home campus.
The homecoming court will be presented at noon followed by lunch under The Oaks. The afternoon will be devoted to tours, musical entertainment and alumni reflections at God's Half Acre.
The day will conclude with the Homecoming Alumni Dance from 8 p.m. until midnight.
Sunday will begin with a worship service at 10 a.m. The annual business meeting will be held at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served under The Oaks from noon until 1:30.
The 10th annual Masonic Homecoming Festival will conclude at 3 p.m.