Dairy Fest 2008: Moving Toward The Moo - Lympics

March 23, 2008 - Happy New Year to all! Remember Christmas? That was just a few weeks ago! The Dairy Festival Board is off to a swift start and here are the dates for the 2008 Festival:

Friday, June 13, kicks off the celebration with the Hot Air Balloons at 5:30 p.m. Then, on Saturday, June 14, here comes the dawn flight of the Balloons, and right behind with the annual 5k run, and then the Parade at 10 a.m., followed by a full day of fun: including the parents', contestants' and pilots' milking contest, and the Texas State Championship Homemade Ice Cream Freeze-Off, the 4-H Project Show, and the Corvette Show and Exhibition.

The Dairy Foods Contest will be held at 10 am on Saturday, June 21, at 10 a.m. Have you tasted those cheesecakes? Please look for more information on these and other events in the following months.

We are looking for and encouraging all businesses, organizations, churches, clubs, and commercial ventures to participate in the Parade on Saturday, June 14, at 10 a.m. at Buford Park. We want you to get excited about decorating your vehicle and/or trailer to showcase our theme for 2008: "Moo -- Lympics." Since 2008 is an Olympic year, there are many opportunities for decorating -- from the ancient Greeks to the current years -- with all those countries and their authentic costumes and beautiful and colorful flags!

In 2006 and 2007, we presented plaques and framed letters of appreciation to six of the parade entries (judged by an independent panel) -- 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places in each of two categories: Commercial and Non-Profit. Your decorated "floats" are a tremendous addition to our Parade. In the 2007 Parade, there were over 150 entries!

The Board is also expecting good participation from the "Little Kids" -- in both the Parade On Saturday, June 14, and the Pageant, which is Saturday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center. If you have a "little kid" (ages 3-5) and are interested in the information regarding having your child in the Parade and the Pageant, please contact Heather Salverino at heather@plainandfancyshoppe.com or call 903-243-4138.

Last year's Pageant was extremely successful, with nine candidates, who participated in many activities, including helping to crew the Hot Air Balloons, milking cows, riding in the parade and taking part in the weeks of practice and preparation for the Pageant. More details about these activities that help "grow contestants into young ladies" will be featured in the coming months. We have scheduled the Parents' and Contestants' Information Reception for Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at the Dairy Museum. Any young lady who is a student in good standing and is a junior in a Hopkins County school may request a Contestant Package from Cindy Lancaster at cindy.lancast@oncor.com OR Gena Prickette at gwp@koyote.com. Scholarship money for college education is awarded to the Queen and runners-up.

We also encourage continued support and generosity in our sponsors. If your business or enterprise is new to our hometown, please feel welcome to come be a part of this 49th year of celebrating the dairy industry and families in Hopkins County. Not only does your financial support allow us to continue in our finest tradition, but it also affords you a great opportunity, and widespread advertising! For example, for a mere $ 600 or so, your business becomes an active Hot Air Balloon sponsor, which includes being part of "your" balloon's crew for flights -- and a chance to ride in "your" big beautiful balloon, advertising the name of your business or organization on a banner. There are also other levels of sponsorship, and your support is exhibited in all of our information and in the program at the Queen's Coronation Pageant on June 21.

This cherished tradition of Hopkins County recognizing the dairy industry through the Dairy Festival, with all its activities, parade, and pageantry is truly not to be missed! It is, as a wise and talented man (aka Johnny Wells) once said: "A slice of Americana".

-- Hopkins County Dairy Festival Board of Directors

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of occasional articles by the 2008 Dairy Festival Board of Directors on planning for the annual salute to the dairy industry.)

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