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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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