Rubber ducks for Saturday's "Great American Duck Race" can still be purchased for $5 each at the Chamber of Commerce and participating businesses. The winners will share $850 in prizes.
File Photo

Carnival and Cover Girl contests on tap for Fall Festival Wednesday

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 16, 2008 - The Hopkins County Fall Festival continues Wednesday night with the start of the carnival, the Cover Girl float judging, exhibits and food booths, and live entertainment.

The activities on the Civic Center grounds begin with the opening of exhibits and food booths at 5 p.m.

At 6 p.m. the public is invited to stop by the Sulphur Springs High School parking lot to get a gander at the floats created by Cover Girl contestants for last Saturday's parade. The girls weren't able to display them Saturday due to potentially bad weather. The floats will also be judged during this time.

The Triple T Amusements carnival will open its rides beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, continuing nightly through Saturday. The carnival will also be open from noon to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the Tilt-A-Whirl and other rides can be bought on the carnival grounds, or armbands that entitle the wearer entry to all rides can be purchased nightly, according to Fall Festival organizers.

But carnival-goers can save a few bucks by purchasing an advance ticket at all Super Handy Convenience Stores today and tomorrow. The advance tickets, which can be exchanged at the carnival for armbands, will only be available until the start of the carnival -- no tickets will be sold at Super Handy stores after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Live entertainment is also slated at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on Coca-Cola Soundstage.

The fun continues Thursday with the second full evening of Cover Girl activities, commercial exhibits, and registration for the Household Arts Division contest.

Friday includes numerous children's activities for Kids Day, such as the Youth Fishing Contest, Pet Show, and Ponies and Pals Petting Zoo targeted specifically at kids. However, there will be plenty of other activities for the whole family.

The Arts & Crafts Show, exhibits and food booths, Lone Star Heritage Quilt Guild Show, Households Arts Division judging and displays, and Free Street Dance featuring Cumby band Exit 110 are also slated for Friday.

Saturday's events include the World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest, the petting zoo and Lone Star Heritage Quilt Guild Quilt Show, household arts display, arts and crafts show, exhibits and food booths, a duck race, the Lake Country Antique Tractor Association Tractor Pull and Starnight concert.

Tickets for Saturday's Starnight concert, headlined by country music star Keith Anderson, may still be purchased for $25 at the Civic Center box office or by calling 903-885-8071. Tickets at the door will be $30. Exit 110 will open the Starnight show, which also includes the announcement of Cover Girl winners.

Civic Center staffers say Starnight ticket sales are going good, but there are "lots of great seats available" for those who call early enough this week.

Those interested in testing their best chicken or beef stew recipes can still register for the World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest, which kicks off at dawn Saturday, by contacting the Chamber of Commerce at 903-885-6515. Stew cooks must have their entries to judges by 10:45 a.m. Winners will be announced at noon.

This year marks a record for the number of participants, reports an excited Meredith Caddell, Chamber president. The contest had 134 teams signed up as of noon Monday, besting the previous high by about a dozen.

Tickets for the all you can eat of the stew entries may be purchased for $5 in advance at Alliance, City National, Guaranty Bond and Pilgrim's banks, or at the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets can also be bought at the stew site Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. To help find your favorite stew cooks, stop by the information booth and get a map, which lists all sites by the cooks' first names. A map will also be posted on the grounds.

Also Saturday will be the fifth annual "duck race" starting at 12:30 p.m. The ducks -- like the ones kids play with in the bathtub -- may still be purchased from any local merchant with a duck race display, or at the Chamber of Commerce or during the Fall Festival. All rubber ducks, which are numbered, will be dumped into the creek on the fair grounds, and the "owner" of the first duck to make it to the other end of the stream will be awarded $500. The prize for second place duck is $200, while the third place duck fetches $100. The "lame duck" prize of $50 will be awarded for the last duck to go across the finish line.

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