Stew contest, Duck Downs, antique tractor pull highlight tomorrow’s schedule

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Sept 14, 2007 - The Hopkins County Fall Festival is in full swing, and the fun will continue tonight with the Triple T Amusements carnival and the free street dance, while the World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest highlight's Saturday's schedule.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

A new Fall Festival Cover Girl will be crowned Saturday, taking over the reign of 2006 Cover Girl Helena Wall (sitting). This year's Cover Girl contestants are (left to right) Kayla Williams, Chesley McGlamery, Zabrina Willhite, Shelby Blezinger, Dionna Ugalde, Somer Gregory and Ariel Darden.

The carnival will resume at 6:30 p.m. tonight with armbands available at the event and at all Super Handy locations. Armbands allow carnivalgoers unlimited rides the day of purchase. The carnival will also be up and running at noon and 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Free Street Dance begins at 8 p.m. tonight and features Mark Cook & Cooke County Line on the Coca-Cola Soundstage. Bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket to sit on, and dancing boots if desired.

Some of the World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest teams will be camping out overnight on the grounds and offering tasty morsels for friends and family who stop by during the night.

Saturday, the Fall Fest begins wrapping up with the official dawn start of the Stew Contest. At about 11 a.m., stew cooks can begin dishing up bowls of stew to the members of the public who have purchased a ticket for $5, which entitles them to a bowl, spoon, fixings from the food tent, and all they can eat of the stew entries. Quarts may also be purchased for $7 each after the winners are announced.

The winners of the stew contest, as well as the best campsite/costume contest, should be announced around noon. 

Two other notable events follow the announcement of the stew contest winners: The annual "Duck Downs" race and the announcement of the Cover Girl contest winners. That will begin around 12:30 p.m.

�The 4th annual AFLAC Duck Race, sponsored by Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce will take place on the "aquaduck" which runs through the stew grounds. Rubber ducks will be available for "adoption" for $5 each. The winning duck owner will receive a check for $500, the second place duck owner will receive $250, third place duck will earn $100. A "lame duck" prize of $50 goes to the owner of the last duck to cross the finish line.

�The Cover Girl announcement will be the culmination of at least a week�s worth of activities for the seven Cover Girl contestants. Helena Wall, the reigning Cover Girl, will crown this year�s winner from the Soundstage. Seven girls are competing for this year's title. Shelby Blezinger, Kayla Chester, Somer Gregory, Zabrina Wilhite, Ariel Darden, Chesley McGlamery and Dionna Ugalde all attend Sulphur Springs High School, while Kayla Williams represents North Hopkins High School.�

The winner of a gun raffle will also be announced following the Stew Contest.

Also Saturday, the Caboodlestoppers and Lanky the Clown and Sheriff Shorty will begin strolling the grounds at 9 a.m.; the Household Arts Contest display will be open until 2 p.m. in the Sulphur Springs High School Conference Center; Arts & Crafts until 5 p.m. at the high school; Exhibits & Food Booths are open until 7 p.m. at the Civic Center; and Lone Star Heritage Quilt Show display will be exhibited until 3 p.m. at the high school mini gym, with the Quilt Show awards at 2:15 p.m.

A children’s petting barnyard will be open on the Civic Center grounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Also Saturday morning, more than 100 entries are expected to participate in the Tractor Pull sponsored by Lake Country Antique Tractor Association of East Texas, which begins at 10 a.m. and is expected to continue for until about 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, with children age 12 and under admitted free of charge.

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