is caught in a whirlwind, a mile-a-minute run of checks and chores as the hours count down to one of Tupelo's biggest events of the year.
It's July 3, and Holloway
as special services director for the Tupelo Parks and Recreation Department
, is piecing together the patterns cut out by almost a year of planning.
Concessionaires need to know where they can set up.Where are the power outlets?Are they adequate?Where go the signs of the dozen event sponsors?What about safety?Security?
The work of Holloway
- and he's
quick to mention scores of others - now lies at the mercy of the skies.Blue good, rain bad.This time, it's blue.
won't depart the scene until the wee hours of the next morning, ending what for many would be a week of work squeezed into two days.And he
wouldn't have it any other way.
"I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to be where I am, to have what I have here.To have the job I have," he
Getting here A Baldwyn native who grew up in Booneville, Holloway, 37, earned a physical education degree in 1988 at Mississippi State University.He
matched that with another degree from MSU
, in abnormal psychology, eight years later.
held jobs with hospital-based wellness centers in Starkville and Tupelo, at the North Mississippi Regional Center in Oxford, and with Mississippi Special Olympics in Jackson.
It was during orientation for the Oktibbeha County wellness center job that he
wife, Rochelle, a nurse who also was in orientation.She now works for the North Mississippi Pediatrics Clinic. But restlessness in the office atmosphere of his Jackson job led Holloway to jump at the chance to join Tupelo's parks and recreation staff seven years ago.
It, like his
wife and three children - Austin, 6, Trey, 11, and Meagan, 16 - soon became family.
"The way our office operates, we're all part of a family.I have my family at home and family at the office, and it all kind of operates together," he
said."We're all close to each other."
Planning the plan
The traditional July 4-related picnic - with prime sponsor WTVA providing more than five hours of live television coverage - ranks as the biggest one-day event of its kind in North Mississippi.But it's just one of a string of special programs that occupy the Parks and Recreation Department's
, and Holloway's
Other duties, in no particular order, include setting up the city's annual Easter egg hunt, the Christmas lighting of Ballard Park, the Holiday Art Extravaganza, the Fall Funfest, the Challenge League
sports program for the mentally and physically handicapped, and the city's seniors program, among others.Holloway also is the department's compliance officer for the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Sit-down planning for the annual July picnic begins in earnest each September, Holloway
said.It takes department personnel, sponsor representatives, other city officials, and a host of volunteers to put each year's concept together.
"You never have to ask, it's just there," Holloway
said of volunteer help."That's what's unique about Tupelo to me. We're just so fortunate to have that."
On days off, when they come, Holloway
likes spending time with his
family and getting in some golf.
"I really love working with people in the community," Holloway
said of his
"At the parks and recreation department you get an opportunity to meet all different types of people.Our department has been blessed ... to have the group that we have."
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