Brenda Jarrett, chamber executive director

With warmer temperatures, longer days and flowers starting to peek out among tufts of green grass, spring is finally here!  And, along with spring, everyone can drag themselves out of winter hibernation and get out of the house to enjoy the sunshine; work in yards; visit neighbors and local stores to see what is new and different; and plan to attend events that are scheduled in the Houston area for spring — and some already scheduled for summer.

This weekend, on March 21, Chantil Richards and Country Seasons Catering has put together a Down Home Spring Expo at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce community building. She has assembled more than 30 vendors to entertain and entice each and every person who attends with their wares. The hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Admission is free, and there will be something for everyone.

Debuting at the expo will be the “Make Mom Feel Like A Million Mother’s Day Give Away” sponsored by the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. The lucky person who wins this basket could make a mom, grandmother, fiancée, girlfriend or special person one happy lady on Mother’s Day. The basket will include the following: gift certificates from Untangled, Walmart Supercenter, Miller’s Grill, Sonic, Grandma’s Country Kitchen, The Eatin’ Place, Serenity Wellness, Gigi’s Nails, Brown Shoe/French Hen and Forbes Pharmacy powered by Walgreens; plus carwash tokens from Romines Motor Co., Inc; cookies from the Texas County Girl Scouts; specialty cupcakes from Swirls and Pearls; a handmade crocheted afghan by Errike Nielsen; and a flower arrangement from Little House Gifts and More. All of the merchandise should be picked up at Little House Gifts by Friday, May 8, just in time for Mother’s Day on May 10. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The drawing is Tuesday, May 5, during the chamber’s monthly luncheon and the winner will be contacted by telephone.

On April 7, the monthly Houston Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon is at noon in the Houston Lions Club den. The program will focus on the vision for Houston’s future and will be led by Elaine Campbell and Mayor Don Tottingham.

On May 2, the Lone Star Plaza will once again be rocking with the Buckaroo Banzai BBQ & Cruise-In Street Dance beginning at 6 p.m. For all of you who want to get in on the details or perhaps help with the event, contact Bob Amburn at 417-217-9719 or drop by Bob’s Barbershop at 112 N. Grand.

In the afternoon on May 5, the Ozarks Area Small Business Incubator in West Plains is hosting EPIC 15, a seminar beginning at 2:30 p.m. and lasting until 7:30 p.m. that will benefit small businesses as a part of Small Business Week.  In conjunction with the seminar is a contest for the best business pitch. All area entrepreneurs who would like to enter the contest should contact OzSBI at 417-256-9724 or go online at for more information. The deadline for the contest is April 3, and the winner will receive $1,000 and office space for a year plus assistance from the Ozarks Area Small Business Incubator with their new business.

Some summertime activities that are on the schedule include the Independence Celebration sponsored by the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce on Friday, July 3, at the fairgrounds.  Plans are in the works for an old-fashioned, family-friendly community picnic complete with games and entertainment and followed by a huge fireworks show. More details will be shared as more plans are finalized.

With the Texas County Fair moving to July 22-25, plans are already in the works for some exciting evening grandstand events including Riders On A Mission (R.O.A.M.) on Wednesday; Old Settlers Reunion events on Thursday; World League Wrestling with an appearance by Handsome Harley Race on Friday; and the Draggin’ Wagon truck pulls on Saturday; plus the Lowery Carnival Co., Inc. midway will be open throughout the fair.  And, as always, there will be a vast array of livestock animals shown by area FFA students and other young folks from surrounding communities during the fair and, of course, the much anticipated livestock sale. The fair and chamber boards are working together to make this year’s fair the absolute best it can be.

There’s a lot happening in the Houston area and everyone should remember this year’s chamber theme as we support and encourage our community and each other’s community events – Together We Can Break the Record!

Happy spring!

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