Town & Country Festival preview 6.25

Written by David Green.

A few new events mixed in with a lot of favorites from the past should keep the crowd entertained at this weekend’s Town and Country Festival.

Friday

Events kick off Friday evening at Wakefield Park.

A new carnival was signed up this year, said Sue Snyder, head of the festival committee, and she expects to see a different array of attractions. Rides began arriving at the scene Monday afternoon.

The rodeo returns for a second year after a popular first appearance last summer. The rodeo company has changed, also, Snyder said, and new events are scheduled.

Two other returning events are on the docket Friday: arm wrestling competition and the Little Prince and Princess contest.  Arm wrestling competitors can sign up at the stage before the contest starts at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday

Registration for the horseshoe pitching contest can be made by calling Art Slocum at 458-1588.

New this year is a horse show—a free event that will take place all day Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. There’s no charge for audience members.

The festival parade will form at the school and travel down Main Street to the park, beginning at 11 a.m. The annual chicken barbecue follows at noon at the park concession stand.

Two new events get underway at noon. Bring your back-yard skills to the park to win a prize at corn hole and ladder ball. registration ends at 11 a.m.

The Morenci Idol singing competition is scheduled at 2 p.m. As of Tuesday morning, two entries were registered—Ivy and T.J. Hutchison—another promised (Brittani Wilson) and one other showed interest.

There’s still time to register, said organizer Michelle Bovee, but the deadline is listed as 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Call Bovee at 458-6954 to show off your skills.

Contestants will sing a 90-second piece a cappella and later perform two songs of their choice—one Saturday and one in the finals Sunday at 2 p.m.

Judges Kathy Dwyer, Maureen Smith and Sybil Diccion will study stage presence and confidence, and listen to pitch, tone, rhythm and beat and crowd reaction.

This year’s hot dog eating contest is scheduled at 4 p.m., the time that the battle of the bands gets underway. [See a story on this page about the band competition.]

The Detroit band Redhill pleased the audience last year and they’re back for another rollicking show Saturday night. What’s the band all about? They describe themselves this way:

“If you were to place country, pop and rock music into a blender, the result would be the music of Redhill.”

Audience members learned last year that band provides an energetic, entertaining performance.

The fireworks show is back for a 10 p.m. performance, followed by additional music from the battle of the bands winner.

Sunday

The carnival continues for a third day Sunday, the day that organizers are calling Family Day.

First on the schedule is the annual church service, organized this year by the Church of the Nazarene.

The Masonic lodge from Fairfield is bringing equipment for a child identification program [see story below] and a bike safety program begins at noon. The county fire safety house will also make a visit to the park.

Cloggers will perform at 12:30 p.m. and the Morenci Kiwanis Money Raffle is set for 1 p.m. The Morenci Idol finals begin at 2 p.m. and young cheerleaders will perform on the stage at 3.

At the back of the park, a BMX race starts at 2 p.m.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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