Dairy Fest 2008: It takes a lot of gas to float a big balloon!

May 4, 2008 - Dairy Festival 2008 'Moo -- lympics' is just seven weeks away. As thetime gets closer and we all get busier, we have many people and organizations who help the DF Board. We could NOT do all of theseactivities without the help of others, and we want to recognize just a few at the beginning of this month's column:

Mr. Charles Askins of the PropanePlace donates every molecule of the propane that is used by the hot air balloonists. Mr. Askins has done this generous donation for the past six years and simply came forward recently and graciously offered to donate all propane for the balloons again this year (which could be 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of propane in one weekend). Wow, were Dr. David Black and his wife, Pam, the chairmen of the Balloon Rally) excited and appreciative! Thanks Mr. Charles Askins!

Also, we greatly appreciate our other corporate and commercial sponsors! We recognize them on large wooden "balloons" which will be gathered around Guaranty Bond Bank before the actual festivities begin, and then you will see them again during the festival weekend around the Civic Center Grounds.The balloons will arrive Friday, June 13 at the Civic Center Grounds at 6 p.m. There is plenty of parking, and there is no admission charge. (In fact, all of our events are free, except for the Queen's Coronation Pageant on Saturday, June 21. Further down in this column, look for the names of the candidates, their parents, and and their sponsors.)

We have many community members who also give their time, money and talents. Just look for the fabulous parade entries from commercial and non-commercial businesses, organizations, and groups. Last year's Sweepstakes winners were the Southwest Dairy Museum and the Downtown Business Association. It is not too late to enter. The Parade is Saturday, June 14, at 10 a.m., leaving from City Park. Our Parade Master is Mike Blount (phone: 903-439-7394.) He has been doing this for more than 30 years and has all the answers: what you drive or ride, who can be on or in the conveyance, and what you may not do -- you know, like trapeze acts or something. Just ask him, as he is knowledgeable and helpful!

We have a new addition this year: A Quilt Walk on Saturday, June 14, starting at 11 a.m. on North Davis Street. Handmade quilts will be displayed at various homes along North Davis until 2 p.m.

Any one interested in running the annual 5K Milk run and 1K fun run at Coleman Park at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 14, please call Lonnie Fox at 903-335-2093. Young kids to the more seasoned adults are welcome! And, speaking of Lonnie Fox, he is reporting that the Carnival is coming to town on Wednesday, June 18th! Also, the 42 tournament will be 'same time, same place' -- Civic Center Exhibit Hall at 1 p.m. -- please look for the sign up ad in the coming weeks in the newspaper. Also, look for the big paper magazine which will occur in the News-Telegram that will showcase the candidates and will give, in detail, the Schedule of Events for the whole Dairy Festival June 13 -- June 21.

The three main activities that really showcase dairy products are the milking contest for the Contestants, their parents, and the balloon pilots on Saturday, June 14, at 3 p.m.; and the Texas Championship Ice Cream Freeze Off (sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, 903-885-6515) at 4 p.m. -- all you can eat homemade ice cream for $4 a bowl!!! -- and, the Dairy Foods Contest on Saturday, June 21, at 10 a.m. at the Civic Center Exhibit Hall, led by the award-winning (National Distinguished Service Award for 2008) Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Johanna Hicks!

And now to the main thing (rim shot, please): The candidates for the 2008 Dairy Festival Queen's Coronation are (in alphabetical order):

n Cecily Adams (daughter of Greg & Karon Adams), sponsored by Dial Study Club; Alyssa Burney (Butch & Karen Burney), sponsored by Mothers Culture Club

n Baleigh Butler (daughter of Gary & D'Yon Butler), sponsored by Grocery Supply Company

n Britney Cheatham (daughter of Kurt & Connie Cheatham), sponsored by Alliance Bank

n Morgan Lutz (daughter of Alan & Mary Lutz), sponsored by Guaranty Bond Bank

n Chelsey McGlamery (daughter of Mike & Kim Moore and David McGlamery), sponsored by Sulphur Springs Dairy Livestock & Auction

n Kaitlyn Potts (daughter of Doyle & Kim Potts), sponsored by Pilgrim Bank

n Haley Reynolds (daughter of Ricky & Maleta Reynolds), sponsored by Jr. Waverly Club

n Morgan Russom (daughter of Shane & Wendy Russom), sponsored by City National Bank.

Our Reigning Queen is Miss Sarah Yosten. Sarah also won the Stephanie Longino Davidson Talent Award during last year's pageant. This $500 scholarship Award is generously endowed each year by Dr. Joe and Joan Longino to honor their daughter, Stephanie, who was Dairy Festival Queen in 1967. But all contestants who place at the pageant are presented with scholarship monies totaling $3,000 which is used to further their education.

This is our 49th year -- it will be a great festival -- don't miss a minute of it!

-- Dairy Festival Board of Directors

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

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