(Times photo/Anne Winchester)
Festivities began early Tuesday evening with the Little Miss Firecracker and Little Miss Independence pageants.
Hannah Noe, 5, of Malden, Mo., was crowned as Little Miss Firecracker. She is the daughter of Jonas and Jo Noe. First alternate was Brittany Brooke Bradshaw, 5, of Rector, daughter of Jon and Lori Bradshaw, and second alternate was Lynzi Karnowski, 5, daughter of John and Lisa Karnowski of Greenville, Ill.
Little Miss Independence was Grace Todd, 2, daughter of Jeff and Treasure Todd of Clarkton, Mo. Anna Marie McMillon, 3, daughter of Brett and Julie McMillon of Piggott, was first alternate, and Keragen Cunningham, 4, daughter of Daren and Shawna Cunningham of Kennett, was second alternate.
Wednesday's event officially kicked off with the annual Fourth of July Parade along Main Street. This year's theme was "Let Freedom Ring," and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee served as honorary grand marshal.
Parade entries varied and included floats, politicians, antique vehicles, farming equipment, four-wheelers, hot rods, fire trucks, police cars, mules and buggies, and horses.
The Greenway Baptist Church placed first in the float division followed by second place Fagus General Baptist Church and third place Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
Other parade winners were:
Best Decorated Bikes Dick and Ashley Williams, first; Sierra Owen, second; and Adam McCoy, third.
Horses Cathy Norred, first; Barbara Bishop, second; and Vernon Barnett, third.
Cars George Forrest, first; Kurt Beeson, second; and Delbert Hughes, third.
At the picnic grounds, the Piggott National Guard presented the colors. The National Anthem was conducted, and Bro. Dave Pettis led the invocation. Mayor Bud Holcomb gave the welcoming address. C.W. Knauts served as master of ceremonies.
Tiny Mr. Piggott was Eli Jackson, eight months, son of Philip and April Jackson of Piggott. First alternate was Luke Carpenter, nine months, son of Tonya and Scott Carpenter of Piggott. Second alternate was Joshua Blake Helton, seven months, son of Denisa Helton, also of Piggott.
Jentri Worley, 10 months, daughter of Clete and Jill Worley of Broseley, Mo., was crowned as Tiny Miss Piggott. First alternate was Ericka Smart, 12 months, daughter of Shane and Brandy Smart of Piggott. Second alternate was Gracie Diane Gentzler, six months, daughter of Dennis and Angela Gentzler of Maumelle, Ark.
Queen Baby Miss Piggott was Shanna Carter, 16 months, daughter of Mindy and Carl Carter of Bay, Ark. First alternate was Hannah Grace Smart, 14 months, daughter of Wade and Leah Smart of Pollard, and second alternate was Hadleigh Cailyn Marine Bynum, 17 months, daughter of Chrissy Bynum of Paragould.
King Baby Mr. Piggott was Austin Sells, 16 months, son of Bruce and Deanna Sells of Cape Girardeau, Mo. First alternate was Korben Tucker, 21 months, son of Karen and Kenny Tucker of Bragg City, Mo., and second alternate was Nicholas Mesa, 16 months, son of Lalo and Liz Mesa of Rector.
Musical entertainment was scheduled throughout the day, including the Piggott Jazz Band, the Community Church Choir, Miss Crowley's Ridge Byway Lindsey Toland, Candy and Ashley Williams, Miss Teen Crowley's Ridge Byway Katie Smart, and Cool Hand Luke.
Piggott native Craig Morris and The Rhodes Family returned this year for a free concert, sponsored by Regions Bank. They were introduced by Morris' cousin, Kevin Morris, and were joined onstage by Dusty Rhodes' sister, Bea Rhodes Hitt of Piggott.
Morris spoke about growing up in Piggott and performed songs he wrote about his late mother, Shelby Morris, and the late Pug Hitt, a local resident for many years. His and wife, Donna Rhodes', children, Sam and Savannah, also performed a number of songs for the audience.
Mackenzie Buchanan, 19, was crowned as Miss Piggott 2001 Wednesday night. She is the daughter of Jerry and Lisa Buchanan of Gideon Mo. First alternate was Ashley Poole, 18, daughter of Jim and Pat Poole of Piggott, and second alternate was Sara Graves, 15, daughter of Melinda Graves of Piggott.
Picnic participants of all ages enjoyed the rides and games provided by Star Amusement, and picnic stands offered barbecue, hamburgers, sno cones and other treats and Bingo.
The evening ended with an aerial and ground fireworks display conducted by the Piggott Fire Department and sponsored by Piggott State Bank.
Donna Haywood of Piggott was the recipient of the 2001 GMC pickup.