Blink and you’ll miss the small community of McManus that’s nestled between Clinton and Jackson in East Feliciana Parish.
“It goes unnoticed by people unless they live there,” resident Keashu King said. “Lots of people think it’s so small, but for those of us who grew up in McManus, we believe it’s just the right size.”
McManus is family oriented, which is what led Corey King, 22, to share a vision he had with family members one Sunday following church.
“I had this image of bringing past and present families together — those who live in McManus now and those who have passed on — for a day of celebration and fellowship,” Corey King said.
His family believed in his goal but knew it would require lots of work. Shannon and Tanga King-Hollins assured their son they’d help him every step of the way, as did Keashu King, Corey’s cousin, who is “like an aunt.”
The family came together and began organizing the first-ever McManus Community Bash centered around family, friends and fellowship.
The group set a date, July 25, and enlisted the help of volunteers through a social media website to inform and invite everyone to the Martin Luther King Park in McManus.
The day featured plenty of activities for children, such as games, inflatables, an obstacle course and waterslide, a memorial balloon release honoring former residents, music, barbecue, baked goods and sno-balls and McManus Bash T-shirts commemorating the inaugural event.
“It was really beautiful seeing those balloons fly in honor of those who have gone before us,” Keashu King said.
An opening ceremony included a prayer by Richard King Sr. and welcome remarks by the Rev. Dandridge Brooks Sr.
Lions Club member Jeff Travis, of Ethel, also spoke, stressing the importance of family and community.
Corey King acknowledged everyone who helped make the event successful through planning and volunteer efforts, as well as donations, such as state Rep. Kenny Havard, of Jackson, and East and West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla.
“After watching everyone have a great time from start to finish, it was evident our motto rings true: ‘A community that prays together, stays together,’” Keashu King said. “We’re looking forward to next year and making the McManus Bash even bigger and better.”