|Alina’s farewell concert Thursday at Fall Festival|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Hopkins County Fall Festival gets in full swing again tonight with Talley's Fun & Games Carnival and continues Thursday with Alina Tatum's final Fall Festival Concert for Hopkins County’s D.A.R.E. program, then youth activities Friday and concludes Saturday with the stew contest and Star Night.
The carnival began setting up Wednesday morning, and will be open at� 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and noon on Friday and Saturday at the new location� west of Sulphur Springs High School on the practice field behind the tennis courts on Gladys Alexander Drive. Arm bands will be offered every night, for those who wish to ride numerous rides or more than once, as the band entitles the wearer to ride as many times as they want that night. Arm bands are only valid after 6:30 p.m.
Exhibits and food booths will also be open at 5 p.m. Wednesday on the grounds, and live entertainment will be performed on Coca-Cola Soundstage from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fall Festival Thursday will be highlighted by the Alina Tatum Presents Alina� & Friends 7th Annual Hopkins County D.A.R.E. benefit concert. The event, which has raised between $15,000 and $20,000 for the county Drug Awareness and Resistance Education program during its six-year run, begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hopkins County Regional Civic Center Auditorium. Tickets for the show are available for $12 in advance by calling the Civic Center box office at 903-885-8071 or may be purchased for $15 at the door.
This will be Tatum's last year to host the concert, which is one of the primary fund-raising sources for Hopkins County D.A.R.E. -- the country singing and yodeling teen moved last month to Nashville where she is pursuing a career as a country music recording artist. She has already recorded two songs, "In Your Heart" and "If You Had A Heart" by Dan Bobbitt, who is assisting her in her career goals. She currently rooms with Bobbitt's daughter, who is her age, and will begin working at Bass Pro on Monday to earn money for rent and living expenses while pursuing her goal. While she has has a few individuals in the day to earn money for rent and living expenses while pursuing her goal. While she has had a few individuals in the recording industry express interest in her work, Tatum is still working on several other songs which she hopes to pitch "when they're ready," according to her grandmother Linda Tatum.
Those attending the concert will get to hear those two new songs, as well as other favorites performed by the Sulphur Springs native during her final D.A.R.E. benefit concert.
While Alina Tatum will be headlining and thus will perform longer, those in attendance will also be able to enjoy the sounds of local favorites Enola Gay, KSST radio personality; Monty Tipps and Main Street Band; Cousin Cedrick, better known as Camp Fire Cowboy Ronny Glossup; and perhaps include an appearance by Pop-Pop, Tatum's maternal grandfather, if his health allows. Tatum's friend of several years Casey Rivers, seen last year on USA Network's Nashville Stars, will also be performing during her concert Thursday night.
Also slated as part of Fall Festival Thursday will be the Cover Girl contests, commercial and local exhibits and food booths, and "The Caboodlestoppers" country variety show, which continues on Friday and Saturday as well.
The Cover Girl horse saddling and mounting, cow milking, chicken cut-up, and calf bottle feeding events begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Civic Center Arena. Exhibits and food booths will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Civic Center grounds. Registration for the Household Arts Division contest will be conducted from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, and from from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday in SSHS Conference Center.
Included among the many youth oriented activities slated Friday are the pet show, youth fishing contest and petting barnyard. Friday and Saturday will also be marked with arts and crafts booths, the Lone Star Heritage Quilt Show, chuck wagon demonstrations, and free street dance at 8 p.m. featuring Mahoney Road.
The World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest, duck race, Cover Girl awards and Star Night featuring Kevin Fowler, Stoney LaRue and Jarrod Birmingham will highlight Saturday's activities.