Saturday, May 6 is shaping up to be one of the most active weekends in recent memory as five major local events happen. Train Day, Trade Days, Relay for Life, Cinco de Mayo, and Country Artist Trace Adkins all converge to fill up a 48-hour period from Friday, May 5 into Saturday night.

Saturday, May 6 is shaping up to be one of the most active weekends in recent memory as five major local events happen. Train Day, Trade Days, Relay for Life, Cinco de Mayo, and Country Artist Trace Adkins all converge to fill up a 48-hour period from Friday, May 5 into Saturday night.  The Hope Farmer’s Market will also kickoff its season that weekend.
Sharon Caldwell, founder of Train Day and owner of downtown Hope’s Tailgater’s Restaurant, said “It will be a busy day with lots of activities going on for sure, but with all that is going on, there is a lot of opportunities for folks to attend multiple events.”
Although synergy is a word Caldwell won’t normally use, what she describes in both the overlap and timing of events suggests the concept is at work.
“Well, we didn’t have a concert for Train Day this year, and we will wind it down at 5 p.m. to get people over to that Trace Adkins concert at Hempstead,” Caldwell said.
“On Friday night, we get started, and so does Relay; we have a street movie theater going with Garrett Memorial, while they are doing the Relay; there is this idea that some folks will be going back and forth, maybe watch the movie, then go back to the Relay. It will work out fine,” she said.
Mark Keith, who will be playing a role in many of the events Saturday, said “It should looked at as a ‘Red letter’ day in the history of Hope, especially when you have a major Country Star like Trace Adkins in town to top off all the great events going on that day.”
Keith said, “This kind of day, like May 6, is going to be good for Hope, good for the community; there will be a lot of winners that day, and the community as a whole will be the better for it.”
Like Caldwell, Keith believes there will be some overlap between the events.
“I would hope that maybe folks at the Cinco de Mayo, will come over to downtown and check out the Trade Days.  Maybe people at the marathon in the morning will go over to Cinco de Mayo, which is being held at the Bill Clinton house. Maybe you will have people coming into Hope that will see some of these things for the first time,” Keith said.
Keith, working with the new Hope Downtown Network, will assist Bob Erwin setting up Trade Day vendors; he will also act as an MC to read luminaries at the Relay for Life, and then, he will perform at Train Day with his own group.
And, with Atkins known to have grown up 60 miles away in Sarepta, Louisiana, Keith believes that a large contingent of Louisiana residents, especially from Webster Parish, will show up in Hope.
“What a great opportunity to showcase downtown Hope.  And, even if they get here for just the show, maybe they will eat in a local restaurant while they are here,” he said.
From a longer historical perspective, Keith said, “Every once in a generation, you have that time that everything just kind of happens and falls into place on a single day.  May 6 happens to be one of those days for Hope.”
Keith said that over the decades that over such big day occasions in Hope have occurred, dating back to the early days of the original Watermelon Festival to the 1960s-era Poultry Festival to 1975’s Centennial celebrations.
“We once had a national Vice-Presidential candidate here in Hope, speaking during the Watermelon Festival, which was a big deal back then,” Keith said.