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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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