Waveland hosts Red, White and You celebration - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Waveland hosts Red, White and You celebration

Waveland was one of only two cities across the nation to host a free city-wide Red, White and You, 4th of July celebration. (Photo source: Stacey Cato) Waveland was one of only two cities across the nation to host a free city-wide Red, White and You, 4th of July celebration. (Photo source: Stacey Cato)
WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -

Waveland was one of only two cities across the nation to host a free city-wide Red, White and You, 4th of July celebration. You may recall the honor came after a Waveland resident submitted a winning essay to a national contest sponsored by USA Today and Destination America .

"It feel like when you see the presents under the tree and you've seen them there for a couple of weeks and now is the day when we open them. That's how excited we are," said Waveland Mayor Mike Smith.

"The day is here now!," said Donna Estopinal.

Estopinal is the Waveland resident who wrote the winning essay. It was her words about the triumphs and struggles Waveland experienced bouncing back from Hurricane Katrina that brought the Red, White and You celebration to town.

"There have been a lot of interviews, a lot of people come up to me recognize me and thank me and congratulate me and I appreciate that and I thank them," explained Estopinal.

"She really talked about the fact that this is the ten year anniversary, there are a lot of things to look back on with a somber note, but this is a day where the whole town can look back and look at it as a positive note. This is kind of a coming out party after ten years of challenges," said Charlotte Bigford, Public Relations for Destination America.

The Independence Day celebration drew hundreds of Waveland residents to the beachfront, as well as a lot of folks from out of town. The Mulvey family is from Indiana. Charles Mulvey's Army National Guard Unit came to Waveland after Katrina on a supply mission. He said when he heard about the city's 4th of July honor, he wanted his family to be a part of the celebration.

"This city has suffered a lot and I think it's great that they get a reward every once in a while and it's great that they got this reward," said Charles Mulvey.

Crystal Rands of Biloxi said, "It sounded like a once in a lifetime thing, so we're here."

She and others say it was a great time and an Independence Day celebration where family memories were made.

"It will be a 4th of July I will remember," said Waveland Resident Mike Prendergast.

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