As the Hopkins County Fall Festival will begin its 44th run Saturday, Aug. 14, the annual fair will feature several tried and true favorites which have stood the test of time as well as offering a few surprises. Event enthusiasts will want to pay particular attention to dates and time for events, as some will be held at different times.
A four-day event, the Fall Festival will feature the parade lead by Pansy Bell and Hopkins County Regional Civic Center staff at 10 a.m. Sept. 14, a lunch, golf tourney Monday, carnival and Cover Girl Contest events on Thursday, Sept. 19. A whole slew of activities will be offered Friday and Saturday.
The event generally features a senior citizens day as well as kids day activities.
This year, events for individuals age 50 years and older will be on a different day — Friday, Sept. 20. The Senior Citizens 1K Geriatric Jog gets in gear in Buford Park by Kids Kingdom at 8 a.m. and the Senior Olympics in the Sulphur Springs High School Gymnasium at 9 a.m. Sept. 20.
“I have ordered 170 T-shirts. They can sign up for all of them or just the ones that they want to. We will have snacks — bottled water and juices, peanut butter and cheese crackers and fresh fruit — for them while they are there. I hope everyone will come out and join the fun. Register early and get a free T-shirt. Everything is free,” said Karon Weatherman, coordinator for HCFF senior citizens events.
The senior events feature four age category as well as a wheelchair, scooter and walker division. In Olympic style, first, second and third place medals will be given to the winners in each age group: 50-59 years, 60-69 70-79, 80 and older; wheelchair, scooter and walker.
There will be several different Olympic game events going on at the same time in the gym, with people at each station to help the seniors compete and get scores recorded.
Registration forms are available at and may be returned to the Senior Citizens Center, 150 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Contact Weatherman at 903-885-1661 for more information.
Traditionally, Fall Fest Friday is kids’ day, with numerous events scheduled on the Civic Center grounds for youngsters. This year, on Aug. 20 and 21, there will be Kids Celebration, petting zoo, balloon and face painting.
And of course, the young at heart can enjoy the carnival Wednesday-Saturday nights, as well as from noon to midnight Friday and Saturday. All-you-can-ride armbands good for one night each are generally available in advance at or at the gate.
There will even be Civil War re-enactments on the Civic Center grounds both Friday and Saturday mornings. Arts and crafts booths, household arts contest and 4-H project show displays will be open Sept. 20 and 21. The food court and vendor booths will go up Thursday night and remain up through Saturday.
The last two days of Fall Festival will also feature musical entertainment. Jeannie Lay and the Loose Cannons will perform Friday night, typically referred to as the street dance as it starts at 7 p.m. and people are encouraged to bring friends, kids and family, chairs or blankets to dance and enjoy the music. The Gospel Praise Fest, a longstanding tradition which generally features local performers sharing musical talents for an uplifting concert, begins at 9 a.m. at the sound stage. The Outta Hand Band, Two Hearts Plus, Heavener music and Jason Walton are also scheduled to perform during the festivities Saturday. Saturday at 7 p.m. kicks off The Break-out Tour, Christian music from Holly Starr, the OBB and Ryan Corn, in the Civic Center auditorium. At 8:30 p.m. Savannah Berry, an NBC “The Voice” contestant, will perform.
For a one-time fee of $5, fair patrons can gain entry to all Civic Center Arena events, with kids 12 and younger admitted for free, all day Saturday, Sept. 21. “Mutton Bustin’” includes preliminary heats at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., a second heat round at 3 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The Cody Hart Elite Miniature Bull Riding event will begin at 11 a.m., with the second round at 3 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.. The Cover Girl awards will be presented at 6 p.m.
Antique tractor enthusiasts can enjoy the Antique Tractor Pull from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Civic Center Pavilion.
This year’s All-American Duck Race begins at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 21 on the fair grounds and will benefit Shadow Ranch. And domino players can try their luck at the annual Earl W. Martin 42 Tournament at 1 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center.
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