Something Fowl, Something Stew
|From Staff Reports|
Aug. 18, 2004 -- The Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce is cooking up something fowl for this year's World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest - a duck race with $900 in prize money.
In addition to the renowned sights, smells and tastes of the stew cook-off will be "Duck Downs," a Chamber Tourism Committee-sponsored duck race to be held on the Coleman Lake "Aquaduck" (the creek which runs through the stew grounds).
"We think this will be a really fun event," said Bill Elliott, president of the Chamber. "We hope people will hang around after the stew contest to watch the race."
The race will begin immediately after the stew contest on Saturday, Sept. 18. The starting point of the race will be the railroad bridge over the "Aquaduck" off Main Street behind the Dairy Farmers of America plant. All entries will be placed in a tub and released into the creek at the same time, and city workers will release water from Coleman Lake into the "Aquaduck" to spur the ducks on to the finish line.
The ducks - like the ones kids play with in the bathtub - may be purchased for $5 from the Chamber, city hall, and local banks, and the owner of the winning duck will be awarded a $500 prize. The second place winner will receive $250, and third place winner $100. The last place finisher will receive a "lame duck" prize of $50 just for making the effort. The winner of the "Duck Downs" will be determined by Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk, who will be at the finish line, which is the bridge on the stew grounds closest to Houston Street.
Winning duck owners do not have to be present at the finish line. Live, play-by-play progress reports will be announced on the grounds by Chamber Board Chairman Craig Roberts as the race progresses along the "Aquaduck."
As for the stew contest, more than 30 teams have already signed up for this year's event. Registration forms and contest rules are available at the Chamber of Commerce office at 1200 Houston Street.
Teams who competed in last year's stew contest will be able to reserve their same sites until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27. After that, the sites are available for cooking teams on a first-come, first-served basis
Sponsor fees are $125 per cooking team. Several sponsors are available to pay the registration fee for a cooking team. Anyone needing a sponsor should call Jackie at the Chamber (903-885-6515) for information.