ARMA — The City of Arma is celebrating local veterans, history and people this weekend during its 71st Annual Arma V-J Homecoming.

The celebration originally began in 1946 as a way to welcome veterans return home from World War II, but over the last several decades it has grown into much more. The homecoming weekend involves games, food, sports and much more.

“We try to keep bringing the events that people seem to really like,” Homecoming Committee Vice-Chairperson Kathryn Richard said. “We’ll have the car show, horse pull, mud volleyball and many more favorites.”

The festivities begin Thursday night and last through Sunday when the celebration will end with 71 giveaways of cash, gift cards and more. The grand prize giveaway will be $500 cash.

Thursday night will have a boys and girls home run derby — including several age groups — beginning at 8 p.m. Friday’s highlights include bingo at 6 p.m., a cruise night for Rollin’ Nostalgia Car Club, Megapass night at the carnival and the horse pull beginning at 8 p.m.

Carnival megapasses are $45 each and good for the entire weekend.

Along with food vendors and more, Saturday’s events include the parade at 10 a.m., mud volleyball at 10 a.m. and children’s games starting at 11 a.m. The day will also include horseshoe pitching, rolling pin throwing and nail driving contests.

The night comes to a close with a spaghetti feed from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by a street dance at 8 p.m.

Before the big drawings Sunday, patrons can enjoy a homecoming breakfast and take part in more games, as well as gospel and patriotic singalongs.

For a full schedule, pick up a homecoming program, or visit www.armakansas.org.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.