It isn’t often that a Missouri governor visits a 2,000-resident town.
But that’s exactly what’s happening this Saturday afternoon when Gov. Mike Parson stops in Seymour for about an hour to see the sights, sounds and scene of our community’s annual celebration, the Seymour Apple Festival.
There have been 46 previous festivals.
Our governor didn’t attend any of them.
That changes around 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon when Parson arrives at Seymour City Hall, then spends the next 60 minutes on the city square before speaking on the stage of the gazebo in the Seymour Downtown Park, as he’ll depart at about 5:30 p.m.
Simply stated, it’s an honor to play host to our state’s top executive.
Above that, Parson easily will identify with our small city, as he also hails from a small town in a rural county like ours, Polk County. Hopefully, he’ll enjoy a corndog, some caramel apples and maybe even an “apple slush” served by the youth group of the Seymour Nazarene Church.
Parson’s pre-political career was in law enforcement.
He began as a deputy sheriff, rose through the ranks, was elected sheriff and held that post for many years, then was elected to the Missouri Senate. Three years ago, he was elected lieutenant governor. After the forced departure of Gov. Eric Greitens, Parson assumed the state’s top post.
He’s done a fine job as governor.
For rural communities like ours, he’s a godsend. Parson identifies with us.
That’s why is so special that he’s coming to our community on our biggest day of the year. Saturday at the festival is much like a summer Christmas. It’s a homecoming, where attendees often see members of their Seymour “family” for the first time since the previous festival.
Credit for the Parson visit goes to one person, Terry Kelley.
Kelley owns and operates his Circle K Trading Post on the south side of the city square. Months ago, he toyed with the idea of having Parson visit the festival. He stayed on it. Didn’t give up.
A few weeks ago, Kelley received confirmation of the governor’s visit. His hard work paid off to Seymour’s benefit. He deserves our thanks.
If you plan to attend the festival, make sure you’re on the city square between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. this Saturday. Look for the governor. Listen to him speak in the gazebo before he leaves.
And if you see Terry Kelley, thank him for his efforts to bring Mike Parson to Seymour.
He’s earned it.