Heritage Park Car Show kicked off last weekend
The combination of months of planning and the efforts of dozens of volunteers will culminate this weekend with the 14th annual Piggott Heritage Park Car Show and Cruise.
The three-day car show is sponsored each year by the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce and has become one of the most popular such events in the region.
"We expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 to 200 cars and trucks based on our early registration," noted co-chair Tim Blair. "Thanks to a great weather forecast for the coming weekend, I'm estimating that we could have several thousand spectators come through the gates of Heritage Park."
The gate numbers hold even more importance this year, as organizers have earmarked a part of those proceeds for a very important cause.
"The Chamber of Commerce board voted earlier this year to use a portion of the gate receipts to help pay for toys to be given away to local kids at our annual Christmas Fest in December," he added. Admission at the gate is $3 per person for everyone age 16 and older.
Activities for the participants are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at both Heritage Park, on the west edge of the city, and the downtown square.
"We'll have a lot of car show folks come into town early in the week, but the organized activities don't actually start until Friday," added co-chair Brian Haley. He noted that many of the participants will be visiting locations in town Friday afternoon, such as the nursing home, the senior citizens center and Magnolia Manor in what has become a yearly tradition.
"Our first event for participants is at 4:30 Friday afternoon when Kennett National Bank and Emmanuel Baptist Church serve their big chicken wing dinner in the main tent," Blair added. "Around 7:30 that evening we'll have live entertainment in the amphitheater featuring Kristen Scott, followed around 8 p.m. with an evening of karaoke fun."
He noted the karaoke is sponsored for the third year in a row by Brett Haywood and Piggott Collision, and that the performance by Scott is sponsored by The Treasure Chest.
The effort also is benefiting from additional corporate sponsorship, as Piggott State Bank is providing both the sound system being used at the park Saturday and the entertainment that evening on the square.
"This year's featured entertainers will be Patrick Patterson and The Band. They'll be performing from 8 to 10 that evening on the square," Haley added. "We sure appreciate Piggott State Bank and all our corporate sponsors for their part in making the event a success."
The gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday for both participants and the public, although early check-in for those taking part in the car show will be going on through Thursday afternoon at the depot and all day Friday on the park grounds.
"Pre-registered cars and trucks can check-in at the depot through the end of business Thursday," noted Blair. "Plus our volunteers will man the registration tent all day Friday for early arrivals."
Several related events also are being held in conjunction with car show weekend, including the Lions Club Breakfast being served from 6 to 10 a.m. at the Piggott Community Center. Also on the schedule for Saturday is the annual Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Quilt Show, which will be going on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum on West Cherry Street.
Organizers noted that shuttle bus service will be in operation from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, with the bus leaving at 30 minute intervals. The shuttle will be making stops at the downtown square, the two museums and the community center for those that would like to take advantage of the opportunity.
The opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the main flagpole, followed by a full day of activities for participants and the public. Kids can take part in turtle races at 10 a.m., followed by games and a coloring contest. At 11 a.m. judging will commence and the first of the participant games will be held along the vendor midway.
A variety of vendors will be on hand this year, plus the Spoke-N-Word Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association will be operating the concession stand in the main tent and offering up those famous barbecue bologna sandwiches and Stewart's Sodas.
Beginning at 4 p.m. car show participants will be treated to the annual Pork Steak Pig-Out in the dining tent. This year the meal is being catered by Wild Hog BBQ of Piggott.
"We will begin the process of lining up for the cruise at 5:30 p.m. and will roll-out promptly at 6," Haley added. "We expect all the cars to make the round trip to the airport and find a place to park around the square by around 7:15, with the awards ceremony set for 7:30."
Organizers will then hand out some $1,700 in cash prizes and over $400 in trophies to the winners in five classes and will recognize both "Best of Show" and "People's Choice" winners.
"Thanks to Piggott State Bank we'll have Patrick Patterson and the Band performing from 8 to 10," Blair added. "During the course of the evening we'll also hold our 50's dance and costume contest give out $100 to one of the participants in the cruise and hold the 50/50 drawing."
Sunday morning participants are invited to meet at the dining tent for coffee and donuts, followed at 8:30 a.m. by live gospel music featuring Jennifer Krepps. Then, around 9 a.m. Bro. Jerry Massey will be preaching the annual church service.
That will be followed by the final awards, recognition and the official closing of the show for 2012.
"We want to encourage everyone to come out and be a part of this year's show," Blair added. "We can always use more volunteers...or just come and help support Christmas Fest with your admission."
Organizers also had a reminder for those who have already obligated to volunteer their time.
"We know that it is going to be a warm and humid day, and we want to encourage all our volunteers to take extra precautions," Haley noted. "Everyone needs to keep themselves hydrated and take plenty of breaks." He added that without the help of the volunteers, and the support of the local business community, putting on such an event would be impossible.
Those who want more information about the show may contact the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce at 870 598-3167.