Dairy Fest planning is in full swing
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

April 14, 2006 -- The Hopkins County Dairy Festival is two months away, but event organizers continue to stay busy readying everything for each event. Some deadlines have already passed, while registration for others continues or is just getting under way.

Mike Blount will once again be coordinating this year's parade, which will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at Buford City Park. Acting as parade marshals for this year's event will be Jerry Don and Peggy Gibby. The parade will follow the traditional route down Connally Street, turning onto Gilmer Street and continuing past Heritage Square to Lee Street.

Among the entries in this year's parade will be 2005 Dairy Festival Queen Alina Tatum atop her gold and white float, floats made by contestants in this year's Dairy Festival Pageant, mini floats carrying this year's "Little Kids of Dairy Festival," vehicles that will be exhibited in the 2nd Annual Corvette Club Rally which follows on the Chamber grounds, as well as commercial, private, civic and church organizations' entries. All are to depict the festival theme of "Just Say Cheese."

Anyone interested in being in the parade should call Mike Blount at 903-885-7720 to sign up, with the exception of "Little Kids of Dairy Fest." Those interested in more information on the "Little Kids" should contact Patricia Chase at 903-348-2117.

Other events slated for the first weekend of the 2006 Hopkins County Dairy Festival (June 10-11) include the Corvette Club Rally, the 5K run, the world famous Ice Cream Freeze-Off, the milking contest, Hot-Air Balloon Fly-in and glow, 42 tournament, scrapbooking and horseshoe pitching contest.

Sheronda Greenwood, dubbed "the balloon meister," has received confirmation from aerialists for 28 hot air balloons participating in this year's Hot Air Balloon Fly-In and Glow, to be held at the high school. Dairy Fest board members do still need volunteers to help crew the balloons, however. Any adult wishing to volunteer their services as a balloon crew member should contact Cindy Lancaster at 903-885-8482 to confirm participation.

The Ice Cream Freeze-Off is sponsored by Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce. First through third place prizes are generally awarded in three categories: plain, fruit and novelty. The three divisions of competition are Super Scoops, Big Dips and Little Dips. The Super Scoop category consists of past winner competing with each other with all flavors. Big Dips are competitors ages 15 and up. Entrants ages six to 14 compete in Little Dips. 

Once the entries are judged, anyone wishing to partake of the ice cream can do so from the booth set up on the grounds offering a bowl, spoon and all-you-can-eat of the available ice cream for a small fee. 

Anyone wishing to register to enter the contest, which generally offers a cash prize for the winners, can do so by picking up an entry form at the Chamber office or by calling 903-885-6515.

To find out more about or sign up to run in the 5K Milk run, contact Brett Bassham at 903-439-8830. For information about the scrapbooking event call Wendi Armstrong at 903-885-9293. Jerry Chapman can be reached at 903-438-1110 for more information regrading the horseshoe pitching and 42 tournament.

The highlight of the second weekend of the salute to the dairy industry will be the Pageant and Queen's Coronation. The girl crowned queen at the June 17 event will receive a $1,000 scholarship, while the first runner-up is awarded a $750 scholarship, and a $500 Stephanie Longino Talent scholarship will be awarded to the talent winner. Savings bonds will be awarded for ticket sales.

Also slated for the June 17 weekend will be the 4-H Project Show and Sale, and the Dairy Foods Contest. For more information about these events contact Johanna Hicks, family and consumer sciences Extension agent, at 903-885-3443.

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