Pollard Picnic Enjoys Near Perfect Weather, St. Francis Picnic at Hand
Perfect weather greeted the public, as the 80th annual Pollard Picnic was held Saturday, July 13 in that community. Proceeds from the annual picnic provides for the continued upkeep of the New Hope Cemetery.
This year's picnic kicked-off with the opening ceremony at 9 a.m., which was held on the newly renovated main stage. The stage has been completely remodeled, with new lighting installed, and is dedicated to the memory of longtime picnic supporter and volunteer Charles Morrisett.
MC Gary Conley officially opened the picnic with the usual fanfare, and introduced Clay County's state lawmakers--Joe Jett of Success and Robert Thompson of Paragould. Conley also introduced the entertainment, which featured J.R. Rogers and his All-Star band.
The first pageants of the day were held at 10 a.m. as Baby Mr. and Miss Pollard were crowned. Baby Miss Pollard is Maybree Steward, 11 month old daughter of Kyle and Brooke Steward of Holcomb. First alternate is Josey Johnson, five month old daughter of Josh and Holly Johnson of Qulin, and second alternate is Molly McBroom, nine month old daughter of Kade and Shana McBroom of Qulin.
Mr. Baby Pollard is James Daughhetee, five month old son of Amanda and Mark Daughhetee of Poplar Bluff.
Up next was the toddler contest, and this year's queen is Josslyn Bristow, 17 month old daughter of Julia and Blake Bristow of Jonesboro. First alternate is Meadow Shaw, 15 month old daughter of Craig and Brandi Shaw of Pollard, and second alternate is Ally Magouirk, 12 month old daughter of Terry and Britney Magouirk of Paragould.
Winner of the boy's contest is Maddox Yount, 21 month old son of Andrea and Matt Yount of Pollard while the first alternate is Levi Midkiff, 21 month old son of Ashley and Aaron Midkiff of Piggott.
Around 11 a.m. the kitchen opened and began serving the traditional fried chicken, chicken and dumplings and all the trimmings. A line quickly developed, and serving remained brisk throughout much of the afternoon.
During the noon hour the Petite Mr. and Miss Pollard contest was held. This year's Petite Miss Pollard is Rylee Cossey, three year old daughter of Jessica and Lee Cossey of Brookland. First Alternate is Olivia Hendley, two year old daughter of Johnathan and Ashley Hendley of Pollard, and second alternate is Ava Jones, three year old daughter of Sara Graves and Travis Jones of Piggott.
This year's Petite Mr. Pollard is Carson McKinnie, two year old son of Shayna Duffy and Cody McKinnie of Piggott. First alternate is Mason Hubbard, two year old son of Fallon Taylor Piggott, and second alternate is Owen Cox, two year old son of Kyle and Christina Cox of Piggott.
During the afternoon the annual Little Miss Pollard pageant was held, and this year's queen is Kiley Williams, seven year old daughter of Sam and Melissa Williams of Piggott. First alternate is Molly Vangilder, five year old daughter of Aaron and Callie Harmon of Rector, and second alternate is Emma Vancil, six year old daughter of Brandon and Corey Vancil of Qulin.
Throughout the afternoon those on hand enjoyed more live entertainment, plus the traditional softball games continued from early morning to near dark. The pleasant weather also equated to good crowds, and the various games and rides remained busy.
The Junior Miss Pollard pageant was held at 5 p.m. and this year's queen is Elise Gossett, nine year old daughter of Daniel and Mistie Gossett of Piggott. Her court included first alternate Mayson Carr, 10 year old daughter of Joey and DeAnna Carr of Blytheville, and second alternate Kaitlin Williams, 10 year old daughter of Sam and Melissa Williams of Piggott.
In the highlight of the evening, over 20 young ladies competed for the title of Miss Pollard 2013. And this year's queen is Sadie Sawyers, 15, daughter of Chuck and Rachel Sawyers of Piggott. Her court included first alternate Emily Hope, 18, daughter of Chuck and Dina Hope of Piggott, and second alternate Taylor Davis, 16, daughter of Troy and Julie Banning of Piggott.
Immediately following the Miss Pollard pageant the drawings were held for the quilt and cash prizes. This year's quilt winner is Janna Kegley-Ellis of Piggott. The $100 cash prize winner was Martha Davis and the $50 cash prize winner was Amy Gipson.
Meanwhile, the annual St. Francis Picnic, to benefit the upkeep of the Hall and Gravel Hill cemeteries, will be held Saturday, July 20 in that community. This year's event promises all the usual attractions, rides, games and pageants. The air conditioned kitchen will also open at 11 a.m. and remain open throughout the day, serving the traditional fried chicken and chicken and dumpling dinners will all the trimmings.
A full schedule of pageants is also on tap, with a variety of age classes for contestants aged birth to 18.
The registration fee for all pageants is $20 and sign-up will begin 30 minutes prior to each contest. No pageant wear will be permitted in any of the pageants for contestants aged birth to 12 years; however, pageant attire is required for the Miss St. Francis contest only.
The opening ceremony is set for 9:45 a.m. with the welcome address offered by Bro. Trent Grimes, Pastor of the Oasis Church of St. Francis.
At 10 a.m. the baby contest will be held for boys and girls ages birth through 11 months, who have not had their first birthday. A winner will be crowned in both the girls and boys division and the attire is casual.
At 11 a.m. the contest for boys and girls ages 12 through 23 months will be held. Trophies will be awarded in both the boys and girls division and the attire for this pageant is also casual.
Around 11:45 a.m. entertainment will be featured on the main stage from Marcus White, of Nashville, Tenn.
At 1 p.m. the annual toddler contest will be held for little girls ages two to four years. A queen and two alternates will be crowned, and the attire is casual wear for the contestants.
At 2 p.m. the Little Miss St. Francis pageant will be held for little girls ages five to eight. A queen and four alternates will be chosen and Sunday dress is the appropriate attire for this pageant.
Around 3 p.m. more entertainment will be featured, with a performance by Kristen Scott of Piggott. Also featured will be a performance by Rylee Cossey of Brookland.
At 4 p.m. young ladies ages nine to 12 will compete for the title of Young Miss St. Francis. A queen and four alternates will be chosen, and the attire is Sunday dress only.
Afterward the crowd will be entertained by Patrick Patterson and The Band. And, around 6 p.m. the annual auction of donated items will be held with Frank Orr and Richard Smart as the auctioneers.
The Miss St. Francis pageant is set for 8 p.m. for young ladies ages 13 to 18. A queen and four alternates will be chosen, and pageant wear is the appropriate attire.
Immediately following the pageant the drawing for prizes, including gift cards and cash, will be held. You must be present to win those drawings and the ones for the hand-stitched quilt and afghan.
Those wanting more information on the St. Francis pageants may call 870 598-5944 or 870 598-3740. All proceeds from the pageants and picnic benefit the Hall-Gravel Hill Cemetery Association.