MABTON - There's been yet another change in Mabton Community Days.
In early April, it was announced that a small group of organizers had moved the event that takes place annually in June to August and that more volunteers were needed. At that time, organizers consisted of what remained of the Mabton Lions Club and Mabton Community Center volunteers.
According to Gay Vandermyn of the community center, due to bad publicity in Mabton regarding city government, "They decided this wasn't a good time to go out and solicit donations." Efforts to host community days in August were scrapped.
Enter Rachel Ruelas, a Mabton resident whose responsibilities last year included organizing the Lil' Miss Mabton Pageant.
Now, Ruelas said, she's taking on the task of organizing Mabton Community Days. And she plans to return the event to the first weekend in June, which is how it's always been.
"I just said, 'OK, I'll do it'," Ruelas said. "You can't change community days, it's been this way forever, since I was a little girl."
Ruelas also heard that there'd be no Miss Mabton Pageant this year, so she's decided to take that on as well. With the exception of last year, she previously organized the program.
Of that pageant, she said, "I have 10 girls running, that's my welcome back."
Ruelas will combine the Lil' Miss Mabton Pageant with the Miss Mabton Pageant on Friday, May 30, at 7 p.m. at Mabton High School.
"It's a lot of commitment. Like I've said in the past, (organizing) has to come from the heart," she said.
Community days will take place the following weekend, June 7-8.
Ruelas said her family is pitching in to help with the three events.
Her sons Derek Gonzalez and Calixto Rivera will be in charge of the parade line-up on Saturday, June 7. Her daughter, Sierra Rivera, and friend Joe Mendoza will be in charge of vendors at the park. Her grandmother, Phyllis Aguilar, will assist Ruelas with all other preparations. Her husband, with the help of pageant parents, is responsible for the float the Lil' Miss Mabton court uses during parades.
Ruelas is currently working with two radio stations to try and get a live radio broadcast during community days.
Just by word of mouth alone, Ruelas already has three vendors lined up for community days. But more are needed, she said.
"Anybody who's willing to participate is welcome to participate," Ruelas said.
The theme for this year's event is "Mabton Coming Together."
Said Ruelas, "We need it now, (considering) everything that's going on."
To enter the parade, or to work as a vendor during Mabton Community Days, call Ruelas at 830-0918.