Beef, Chicken or Duck: Annual stew contest, fourth edition of popular ‘Duck Downs’ race set for Saturday, Sept. 15

From Staff Reports

Aug 29, 2007 - The menu for Saturday, Sept. 15, is inexpensive — only $5 — and it's simple, too — your choice of beef, chicken or duck.

And there will be plenty to choose from, with at least 1,284 gallons of beef and chicken stew being cooked that day for the annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest, followed by the ever-popular Duck Downs on the Civic Center grounds.

This year's stew contest should be one of the biggest ever, with 107 teams signed up already, while hundreds of people will be cheering on their rubber duckies in hopes of winning some of the $900 in prize money up for grabs in the duck race.

Now in its fourth year, the Duck Downs sponsored by the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce takes place at the conclusion of the stew contest, an annual staple of the Hopkins County Fall Festival.

Anyone can enter the race by purchasing a duck for $5 at the Chamber of Commerce and other locations. 

The ducks are all numbered before being released in the"Aquaduck" (the creek which runs through the Civic Center grounds), and the first three to cross the finish line downstream will claim prizes.

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.

Ducks can be purchased at the Sulphur Springs Airport, Town and Country Cleaners, Pizza Inn, Alliance Bank, City National Bank, Guaranty Bond Bank, Community Bank, Bobby McDonald Bookkeeping, Century 21 First Group or the Chamber of Commerce. Ducks will also be offered for sale along the Fall Festival Parade route the morning of Saturday, Sept. 8.

Before the duck race, those enjoying the Fall Festival can get their fill of beef and chicken stew from the teams in the cooking contest. Contestants are required to have at least 10 gallons of stew ready for sale to the public by 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. Spectators can purchase all-you-can-eat bowls of stew for $5.

More information is available by calling the Chamber at 885-6515.

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