Thursday, June 11, 2009
Clydesdale Festival June 18-20
By SUE WATSON
The festival that draws the largest crowds in Marshall County, according to organizer Ronnie Luther, is set to run June 18-20 in Byhalia.
The Clydesdale-Byhalia Lions Club Festival provides three afternoons and evenings of wholesome family entertainment at reasonable prices and benefits four organizations - the Clydesdale Christmas Store, which provides toys and clothes for needy families; the Byhalia Lions Club; the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce; and the Byhalia and Watson Volunteer Fire departments.
Thursday night is family night and gates open at 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and children 11 years and older, and $3 for children ages 4 to 10. Parents can purchase carnival rides for children Thursday night for the cost of a wristband and children can ride as many times as they wish. Entertainment Thursday night begins at 7 p.m. with Ordinary Citizens, a band out of Southaven who was popular with the crowd at last year’s festival.
Friday night's entertainment includes J Bar B Rodeo’s roping and bull riding competition, carnival rides, and music by Ken Hutton and the Electric Rodeo, which has cut several CDs in Nashville.
Prices are right Friday night with admission $10 for children 11 and above and adults, and children ages 4-10 admitted for $5 - the price providing admission to both the rodeo from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. and to the band that plays until midnight.
Saturday’s activities include a hot wings cooking contest with cash prizes for three categories. The contest will be managed by “Big Mack” Burrow of Byhalia. Three winners per category will be selected with winners announced at 6 p.m.
The Byhalia Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a poker run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with proceeds going to the chamber. One-hundred fifty bikers have signed up already for this popular contest. Check with the chamber of commerce at 662-838-8127 to sign up.
Carnival rides start up at 4 p.m. Saturday, the championship rodeo opens at 7 p.m. and cow chip bingo winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m. The winner of this contest can win up to $2,500, according to Ronnie Luther, festival organizer.
Tickets will be sold all week for the chance to win a DoughBoy Pool valued at $2,500. The winner of the pool will qualify to have their name put in the hat to win a Carribean Cruise sponsored by Bud Light. The winner does not have to be present to win the raffle for the pool, but must be present to win the cruise, Luther said.
Local, state and national politicians have been invited to be present to answer questions one-on-one. Those expected to be present Saturday include U.S. Rep. Travis Childers and Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.
Musical entertainment Saturday night begins with Green Leaf at 4 p.m. Rob and the Rage with the Pat Sullivan Band plays from 9 p.m. until midnight.
Luther said in these times when families find budgets tight, a family can come out and enjoy wholesome and safe entertainment at a fair price with all proceeds going to a good cause. The Clydesdale Festival is the major fundraiser for the Clydesdale Christmas Store in Holly Springs which provided nice gifts to 200 families with children last year, served Christmas dinner and provided Christmas gifts for the local National Guard Unit, distributed presents to four nursing homes at Christmas and provided some help to families who lost their belongings in a house fire.
The parking fee of $2 raises much-needed income for the local fire departments and the festival dollars are also shared with the Byhalia Lions Club.
Luther thanked the landowners for providing the site for the festival again this year at no cost to the festival organizers - located east of Highway 309 just off U.S. Highway 78. Drivers should watch for the entry to the festival just north of the Shell Station and beside the bank.
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