Clay County Fair Now Underway

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Doug Deckard's "Boss Hog" is just one of the many hot tractors scheduled to participate in the tractor pulls Friday, Sept. 13, at the Clay County Fair. The tractor recently brought home third place honors from the competition at the Missouri State Fair.(courtesy photo)

The annual Clay County Fair is underway, with activities scheduled through Saturday, Sept. 14. This year marks a milestone for the event, as the first fair at the current fairgrounds will held 60 years ago this fall. The fairgrounds are located at 658 East North Street, at the corner of East North Street and North Garfield Avenue, on the north edge of Piggott.

Members of the Fair Board, and the Junior Fair Board, have been busy planning and making improvements during the off-season. Work is now complete on an addition to the Ryan Pounds Memorial Show Barn, and in an effort to provide a better environment for fairgoers numerous portable restrooms will be in place for this year's event. Volunteers have also been busy preparing the site, and now have the fairgrounds in top form.

The schedule of events for the 2013 fair will include a hot tractor pull Friday evening, the annual parade Saturday morning, antique tractor display, canine contest, mud run and demolition derby. The day's activities on Saturday will also include the usual pageants, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The 2013 Clay County Fair actually kicked-off with a new event this past Saturday, Sept. 7, with the 5Klay Run4Fun, sponsored by First National Bank. Turnout was relatively light for the inaugural five kilometer run/walk through the east side of Piggott, but a number of hardy individuals braved the heat and humidity to participate. Saturday evening the annual talent contest was held at the Piggott Community Center.

Set-up is scheduled for today, Wednesday, Sept. 11, with exhibits being accepted from 1 to 7 p.m. The education booths are also being set up, and the check-in is underway for poultry, rabbits, waterfowl, livestock and horses.

Judging of exhibits will be held beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, and the exhibit building will be closed to the public. At 1 p.m. judging will get underway for poultry, rabbits and waterfowl. The judging will continue at 4 p.m. for livestock and horses, beginning with swine and continuing with sheep, goats, dairy, beef and horses.

The final event scheduled for Thursday is a Brush Arbor service, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

Friday is Youth Day at the fair, sponsored by Piggott State Bank. A variety of activities will be held beginning at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, with students from across the county making their way to the fairgrounds to participate. This year's youth day will include a tour of the exhibit building, an FFA animal show exhibit, a magic show by the Rocky Clements Show of Wonders plus visits from the Air Evac Lifeteam and Ryan Vaughan and the KAIT Storm Tracker.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, the Bootheel Tractor Pullers Association will host a hot tractor pull in the arena. Those wanting more information on the event may contact Doug Deckard at 870 926-2592. The hot tractor pull has become a popular offering at the annual fair, drawing some of the top pulling tractors in the region and a good crowd of spectators.

Saturday, Sept. 14, at 10 a.m. the fair parade will be held and will make its way from the First Baptist Church of Piggott to the fairgrounds. There will be six categories, with first, second and third place in each category awarded prizes. The categories include--best decorated float, antique tractors, horse and rider or wagon, best decorated bicycle or four-wheeler, antique cars and marching bands.

The activities continue at 10:30 a.m. with the popular canine contest, antique tractor display and the first of the pageants.

This marks the 27th year for the canine contest, and those wanting to enter dogs are reminded all shots must be current. The pre-registration fee is $1 per dog, per contest, and the fee will be $2 the day of the event or for those who want to make changes. Awards will be handed out for "Most Photogenic," for "Cutest Puppy," along with best personality, best dressed, prettiest eyes and best tail wagger. The judges will also choose the top owner-dog look a-likes and most talented, and will name this year's canine king and queen.

Pre-registration of all dogs is requested, and those wanting more information may call Linda Bland at 870 324-0456.

The antique tractor display will be going on from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and organizers invite owners of antique tractors, and old equipment, to bring them to the fairgrounds to share. Those wanting more information on the antique tractor display may call Delmar Causey at 870 598-3488.

The first pageant of the day will also be held beginning at 10:30 a.m., as Baby Mr. and Baby Miss Clay County will be crowned. The complete pageant schedule may be found elsewhere in this edition, and those wanting more information may contact Andrea Yount at 870 450-6091.

A returning favorite gets underway at 11 a.m. with the Open Fun Mud Run. The event will feature a variety of vehicles, and promises a lot of excitement. Those wanting more information on the mud run may call Henry Nicley at 870 236-0744.

All exhibits will be released for pick-up between 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Any items not picked up Saturday afternoon will be kept secure, and those wanting to pick their items up Monday should call the Clay County Cooperative Extension Service office in Piggott at 598-2246 to find out when they may be retrieved.

Saturday will wrap-up with an evening of exciting demolition derby in the arena, with the pee wee derby set for 6:30 p.m., followed by the main event at 7:00. The event is sponsored by the Clay County Fair Association, and will be a legal class derby. Those wanting more information may visit www.we-crash.proboards.com and access the Southern Promoter section. Information is also available by calling Brian Stevens at 870 240-5498.

Fair board president Marty Conley reminds participants the exhibit buildings and barns will close at 9 p.m. each day of the event, and noted the fair kitchen will be open daily offering a variety of food, drink and snacks.

Those wanting more information on the 2013 event may visit the official Clay County Fair website at www.claycountyarfair.com Supporters are also encouraged to follow the fair on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page.

Pageant Schedule Set

A full slate of pageants will be held beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in conjunction with the annual Clay County Fair. The pageants will be held in the commercial exhibit building at the fairgrounds in Piggott. Organizers note there is a $1 admission fee for spectators, with the proceeds going toward the scholarship for Miss Clay County.

The pageants for contestants up to 16 years of age are open to all surrounding areas. Registration will be held 15 minutes prior to the pageant, and the entry fee is $25. The proper attire for contestants in pageants for age seven and younger will be Sunday dress, while the attire for the older divisions will be pageant wear.

Organizers also noted the winners of the Junior Miss, Miss Clay County and Mrs. Clay County pageants will automatically qualify for a spot in the state pageants to be held next month at the Arkansas State Fair at Little Rock.

The first pageant, set for 10:30 a.m., will be the Mr. and Miss Baby Clay County pageants for boys and girls ages birth to 11 months. The proper attire for this event is Sunday dress.

At 11 a.m. the Toddler Mr. and Miss Clay County pageant will be held for boys and girls age 12 to 24 months. This pageant will also feature Sunday dress.

The Little Miss Clay County pageant, for girls age 2 to 4 years old, will be held at 11:30 a.m. The proper attire for this pageant is also Sunday dress.

At 12:30 p.m. little girls ages 5 to 7 will compete for the title of Petite Miss Clay County. This pageant will also feature Sunday dress as the proper attire for contestants.

The Young Miss Clay County pageant is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., as girls age 8 to 10 will compete for the crown. The appropriate attire for this event is pageant wear.

At 2:30 p.m. young ladies ages 11 to 12 will compete for the title Young Junior Miss Clay County. This event will also feature pageant wear as the proper attire.

The Junior Miss Clay County pageant will be held beginning at 3:30 p.m. for young ladies age 13 to 16, and the appropriate attire for contestants is pageant wear.

The Miss Clay County pageant is scheduled for 5 p.m., and contestants must be between the ages of 17 and 21 and have never been married. The pageant is open only to residents of Clay County, Ark. Pageant wear is the proper attire, the entry fee is $25 and there will be no practice prior to the start of the event.

The final event of the day will get underway at 6:30 p.m. with the Mrs. Clay County pageant. The Mrs. Clay County pageant is only open to residents of Clay County, or those who work within the county. Contestants can be any age, but must be either married or divorced. Pageant wear is required and the entry fee is $25. There will be a practice for the Mrs. Clay County pageant only, and it will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

Organizers noted some pageants may start late, due to a large number of contestants in a previous contest--but, added no pageant will be starting early.

Those wanting more information on any of the Clay County Fair pageants may contact event coordinator Andrea Yount at 870 450-6091.

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