Officer in U.S. Army to serve as parade's grand marshal

A former Victoria resident who now serves as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army will be the featured guest on Saturday during Black History Month events.

Lt. Col. Vanessa Hicks-Callaway of San Antonio will serve as the grand marshal in the Black History Month parade and will speak at the festival following the parade.

“We are so proud to have a woman with all the qualities of Lieutenant Colonel Hicks-Callaway as our honored guest during Saturday’s events especially since our theme this year is Black Women in American History and Culture,” said Margie Montgomery, treasurer of the Black History Month Steering Committee.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Patti Welder Magnet Middle School, 1500 E. North St., and will end at the Victoria Community Center, 2905 E. North St. The Black History Month Festival will immediately follow the parade in the community center and will last until 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The festival will kick off with remarks by Hicks-Callaway, who also will be at a festival booth to visit with the public and provide information about her new book “Decision Precision Vision.” The book challenges and enables readers to visualize and lay out a plan, based on their decisions, to achieve divine purpose.

The festival will feature food, jewelry, arts and crafts, clothing, home décor and other items available for purchase. Winners of the People''s Choice Awards in the Black History Month Fifth-Grade Poster Contest also will be announced.

The day will conclude later that night at the community center with a comedy show featuring White Chocolate, D.D. Ingram and Jazz Tate. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 from any committee member or at Mumphord’s Place, 1202 E. Juan Linn St. Tickets will be $15 at the door the night of the show.

The public also is invited to attend the Fifth-Grade Poster Contest Reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Multi-Purpose Room of the University of Houston-Victoria University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Winners of the poster contest will be announced.

The first- through third-place winners will receive different levels of scholarships to UHV. Victoria College will provide a tuition waiver to any of the college’s continuing education summer camps for the first- and second-place winners. The third-place winner will receive a basket of VC items. Honorable mention awards also will be given.

The 103 posters submitted to the contest are on display for the public to view throughout the UHV University Center during regular business hours. They will be on display through the end of February. Visitors are invited to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Awards at the first-floor information kiosk. All votes must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

UHV helps organize Black History Month events annually along with Victoria College, the Cultural Council of Victoria and the Black History Month Steering Committee. Grocer H-E-B is a corporate sponsor.

For more information about participating in the parade, contact Earnel Lee or Annie Hill at 361-576-5650.  Call Montgomery at 361-652-1851 for questions about vendor booths at the festival, or call Sherilyn Shelton at 361-433-6038 for information about participating in the festival entertainment. For ticket information for the comedy show, call Montgomery or Mumphord’s Place at 361-485-1112.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler