CRESTVIEW — The Carver-Hill community in west-central Crestview has celebrated its history for four decades.
The 41st May Day festival took place Memorial Day weekend at Allen Park, home of the Carver-Hill Museum. Events included a parade through the historic neighborhood starting at the site of the former Carver-Hill school.
Many participating organizations included Girl Scout Troop 738 and Boy Scout Troop 773, who were first-time entries.
“We were proud to be invited and we’re looking forward to coming back bigger and better next year,” Raymonda Schwartz, unit commissioner for the Boy Scout troop, said, adding that they want to continue to be more involved in the Carver-Hill community.
“It’s just fantastic because the people lined up on the street, they all enjoyed it,” Crestview City Councilman J.B. Whitten said, adding that favorable weather was a plus in kicking off events of the festival’s first full day.
Crestview City Councilman Shannon Hayes, who was a Carver-Hill High School graduate over 50 years ago, said he tries to attend the May Day festival every chance he gets.
“It’s great for the community that we have this, where we can come together and recognize and remember our history and the people who contributed to making this neighborhood … a great neighborhood,” Hayes said.
Following the parade, the Carver-Hill Memorial and Historical society kicked off the May Day festival with a proclamation from Crestview Mayor David Cadle and a posting of the colors from the Crestview High School Junior ROTC; and volunteers from the community took their places to begin plaiting the Maypole.
The Prince Hall Masons started a tradition this year at Spring Hill Cemetery: honoring veterans for the Memorial Day weekend.
J.R.L. Conyers Lodge 364 and the youth organization they sponsor, Reginald T. Lewis Council 34, Knights of Pythagoras placed flags on the graves of military veterans at the historic cemetery to give youths a sense of pride, patriotism and service.
Crestview District Deputy Grand Master Malcolm N. Haynes Sr. credited Past Master James South in developing the idea to honor veterans buried at Spring Hill Cemetery.
Haynes said of South, “He felt that we needed to get the children involved and the lodge involved in recognizing the veterans at this particular cemetery.”
Billy D. Anderson, Worshipful Master of the J.R.L. Conyers Masonic Lodge, added that since their membership consisted of mostly veterans of all military branches, it was appropriate that the members participate in something that the community had never done before.
Anderson said that they were showing the Knights of Pythagoras, the youth organization the lodge mentors, their future responsibilities.
“We have them come out to special events,” said Anderson of the Knights of Pythagoras, “but we also have them to come out so that they can see what we do as men, to give them an example of positivity.”
The Masons have been a part of the May Day festivities since their inception; and while the planting of the flags at Spring Hill Cemetery was not an official part of the Carver-Hill celebration, it will now have a standing that members hope will last for future generations.