Thursday, June 23, 2011
By SUE WATSON
The Byhalia Clydesdale Festival got off to a wet and muddy start but by all accounts was successful in attendance and fun, according to Ronnie Luther.
He and his wife Brenda organized the Clydesdale Christmas Store to provide toys and clothes for children of needy families.
Thursday night was rained out about an hour after opening, he said. But before the storm clouds swept in, the evening was stacking up to be one of the better attended Thursday nights in the festival’s history.
A Friday morning rain flooded the parking field, according to Terry Rodgers, one of the festival organizers. It took a lot of work to get water off the field and it became a muddy mess Friday night as Gators carried festival goers to the gates and then back to their vehicles. It was also muddy for the Friday night rodeo, but everyone put up with the mud to have a good time.
By Saturday night the parking lot was suitable as well as the midway, the rodeo grounds, and around the music stage, Rodgers said.
Music was good with Eddie Smith, Buddy Church and Bobby Turner playing Friday night and with Doctor Zarr and the Amazing Funk Monsters Saturday night.
Cowgirls were able to ride in the Saturday night rodeo where they ran the barrel races, Rodgers said. Both Friday and Saturday night’s attendance was good, he said.
Luther and Rodgers thanked the Byhalia High School FFA for doing an excellent job of organizing the parking, the Lions Club for its support, the Town of Byhalia for answering every need, and the Byhalia Police Department and Sheriff Kenny Dickerson and his deputies for providing security.
The Clydesdale Festival is the largest fund-raiser in Marshall County. It helps raise money for gifts for children at Christmas, for feeding and providing gifts for the troops with the Hernando Unit of the Mississippi Guard and their families, for providing support to families who have children at St. Jude, and for nursing home residents who do not have relatives who visit during Christmas.
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