Meeting their hero
Local fans Rhandi Williams (left) and Elexa Wood (right) got up close and personal with country star Keith Anderson at the “meet and greet” event Saturday before his concert at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.
Staff Photo By Jessica Worth

Fall Festival deemed 'great success'

From Staff Reports

Sept. 22, 2008 - The 2008 Fall Festival wrapped up Saturday night with a concert by Cumby band Exit 110 and headliner Keith Anderson. From all accounts this year's festival was "a great success."

Although Hurricane Ike cancelled the Relay for Life Barbecue on Sept. 13, the domino tournament enjoyed a large turnout.

"We had a record attendance for the 42 Tournament, even with the storm," said Ina Gore, president of the Fall Festival Board of Directors. "We have tentative plans to reschedule the Gospel Songfest to Oct. 25 because so many people were disappointed when we had to cancel it due to the storm."

Twelve girls competed for the title of Cover Girl, the official representative of the Fall Festival.

"The girls were awesome," Gore said. "There was so much camaraderie between them. They became friends, even though it was a competition. They supported each other in a way we've never seen before."

Gore was also impressed by the way 2007 Cover Girl Somer Gregory helped the contestants.

"She took them to her family farm and she showed them how to drive the tractor, milk the cows and saddle a horse," Gore said. "Everything she knew how to do, she showed them."

There were 135 entries in the annual Hopkins County Stew contest, a record number of cook teams.

"It was awesome," said Meredith Caddell, president of the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the contest. "It ran smoothly. The cooks were fantastic. It was a perfect day."

Anderson's show was the icing on the cake.

During the "meet and greet" backstage before the show, Anderson was all smiles as the mostly female crowd lined up for their moment with the star.

Anderson's hit "I Still Miss You" has taken on new meaning after the death of his mother from cancer in late June. Anderson now brings his father, Leroy, on tour with him when he can.

Saturday night at the "meet and greet," a group of women flocked to Leroy, sharing hugs and kisses.

"These women are nurses at Baylor," the elder Anderson explained. "They took care of my wife when she was sick."

The Hopkins County Fall Festival Board made sure the nurses had great seats.

"We were happy to accommodate Keith's request to take care of them," Gore said. "They took care of his mama. We took care of them."

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