Leroy Homecoming Celebration

Dave Drago, Journalist

As the majority of us in Iola and surrounding towns did relatively little, the town of LeyRoy, with a population of 541 (according to the 2018 census), held a several day long festival, which they refer to as “LeyRoy Homecoming!”

My family and I were among those who attended, having familial ties with some of the most prominent families within the town, and holding land in the nearby town of 414, Aliceville.

(In comparison to the two above figures, Iola and the surrounding communities of Basset, Gas, and LaHarpe had a population of 6,366 as of 2018.)

The first thing we did when we arrived was go to the Football Game. It was the Titans against The Bulldogs, but unfortunately for LeyRoy, or rather, Southern Coffey County Highschool, they were pummeled. Despite this I couldn’t help but notice more cheers, enthusiasm, and people in general on the Titan’s side. Despite every tackle, every banana run, every touchdown, field goal, and every flag, they cheered on. Some notable moments were when the announcer stated “Please be cognizant of your surroundings. That’s right. I used a big word.” or when two young women asked my brother for his phone number. He, against my advice, said no, stating “I’m the loyal one.”

Immediately after the game we went to the adjacent baseball field, where they held “The Grease Pig Run,” which was divided by sex and age. First were the little girls, all younger than 12, my sister, one of them, chased a pig and aimed to tear the tape off. Next, the young boys, again, all younger than 12, they were the most numerous of the 5 groups. They succeeded in scaring the pig and chasing it through a fence. The announcer called “Go catch that pig!” and over half of the audience went after it. It didn’t last all but a few seconds. Next was the women, ages 12 and up they raced towards the pig, and a young woman who for the life of me I cannot remember her name, but a young woman caught the pig, after previously catching the runaway from the previous group. I later learned she had also won the tournament the previous three years as well. She kept her pig, but I say it looked more like a dog with its size and ginger coating. Next was my group, men 12 and older. Me and a brother raced to the pig, to no avail. Another had caught it. Lastly it was the adults. Anyone over the age of 18, but nobody went, so they auctioned the pig to my father for $20.
His name is Boss 22.

The next day we went to the Community center, where they had all sorts of stalls, stands, food and drink, and they even had laser tag. Though I only participated in the food and drink part. There we had a massive barbecue; it of course cost a little money, but most of the town was in attendance, and that is over 500 people, so I don’t mind paying a few bucks for a plate of delicious food (their beans were the best I’ve ever had).

As things got settled down we waited in the Downtown area. Three hours went by and we watched. The band played, and the people danced, for LeyRoy holds an annual Street Dance.

After this we went home, exhausted, and when we awoke, we went to the community center for breakfast, which was free by the way. Sausage, eggs, hash browns, orange juice, coffee, and tea. Those are what we were offered, all without charge.

The city of LeyRoy may be small, but it’s compassion is limitless.