Annual St. Francis Picnic is at Hand

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The annual St. Francis Picnic offers the perfect chance for friends to catch-up, as these ladies were apparently doing at last year's event.

The schedule is now set for the annual St. Francis Picnic, set for Saturday, July 19, to benefit the Hall and Gravel Hill cemeteries. The popular regional event will be held at the picnic grounds in St. Francis, and will be going on throughout the day.

The picnic will officially open at 9:45 a.m. with the welcome address from Randy Dalton, of Gravel Hill General Baptist Church.

Afterward, at 10 a.m. the first of the day's pageants will be held with the baby contest for boys and girls ages birth through 11 months. This year the queen's crown has been donated by Piggott Florist and Merle Norman, with the trophies donated by First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center.

The next event will be at 11 a.m., as the baby contest is held for boys and girls ages 12 through 23 months. Donating the queen's crown this year is Piggott Realty, while the trophies have been donated by Baker Implement, of Piggott.

The air conditioned kitchen and dining room is scheduled to open for business at 11 a.m., and will be serving throughout the day. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy all they care to eat of fried chicken, or chicken and dumplings, with all the trimmings.

At noon live entertainment is scheduled on the main stage featuring the talented Kristen Scott, of Piggott.

The toddler contest is set for 1 p.m., open to boys and girls ages two to four years. Providing the crown this year is Clay County Circuit Clerk Janet Luff-Kilbreath, while the trophies have been donated by Mann's Tool Specialties.

The Little Miss St. Francis pageant is scheduled for 2 p.m., and is open to girls age five to eight. Donating the queen's trophy this year is Paula O. Blackwell, Piggott State Bank, and the queen will also receive a 2014 collector's silver coin donated by Hoggard and Son's Funeral Home. Trophies for the alternates this year are being provided by Chuck, Sherry and Brian Schulte of Sherry's Hair Port and Front Street Pizza; Clay County Air Conditioning and Refrigeration of St. Francis; Clay County Sheriff and Collector Gerald McClung and Clay County Judge Gary Howell and his family.

Live entertainment continues at 3 p.m., with a performance by Marcus White, of Nashville.

The pageant scheduled continues at 4 p.m. with the Junior Miss St. Francis pageant for young ladies age nine to 12. This year the queen's crown is being provided by Paula O. Blackwell, Piggott State Bank, while the queen's trophy is being provided by Bill and Penny Veal with Best Realty. The queen will also receive a gift certificate donated by Darrell and Ellen Dalton of Pumpkin Hollow. And, the trophies for this year's alternates are being provided by MFA Agri-Services Midsouth of St. Francis; David Copelin, Attorney at Law; the Clay County Times-Democrat and Clay County Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.

At 5 p.m. more live entertainment is in store, with a performance by local favorites Patrick Patterson and The Band.

And, at 6 p.m. another popular tradition continues with the annual auction of donated items featuring auctioneers Frank Orr and Richard Smart.

The highlight of the evening is set for 8 p.m., as young ladies ages 13 to 18 compete for the title of Miss St. Francis.

This year's the queen's crown, and a $100 cash prize, have been donated by Clay County Abstract and Title Insurance of Piggott and Community Title and Escrow of Paragould and Jonesboro. And, the queen's trophy has been donated by Ed and Pat Morris. Those donating trophies for the alternates include Clay County Circuit Clerk Janet Luff-Kilbreath, Clay County Treasurer Carolyn Morrisett, Clay County Clerk Pat Poole, Clay County Assessor Tracy Gurley and Kevin's Tractor Repair.

Immediately after Miss St. Francis is crowned for this year, the drawings for prizes will be held. A variety of prizes will be given away this year including a hand-stitched quilt and afghan, along with gift cards and cash. Picnic organizers noted you must be present to win the gift card and cash drawings.

All proceeds from the annual St. Francis Picnic benefit the continued maintenance and upkeep of both the Hall and Gravel Hill cemeteries.

Additional information on the pageants may also be found in this week's print edition of the CCTD.

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