Piggott Picnic Draws Large Crowds
The 88th edition of the Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Celebration will go down in the history of the event as a great success as large crowds attended both the parade and picnic and enjoyed cooler-than average weather and no rain. Late Saturday evening Sadie Sawyers of Piggott was crowned Miss Piggott for 2015, the crowd was treated to an outstanding fireworks display and the names were drawn from entries in this year's $5,000 grand prize drawings.
Activities actually kicked-off Friday evening, July 3, with the first of the pageants and the opening of the midway. A number of class reunions were also held Friday evening and the Mohawk alumni football game was held at Parker Field. Due to the forecast of thundershowers, pageant organizers chose to move the Friday night events to the nearby PES auditorium where Young Junior Miss, Junior Miss and Mrs. Piggott were chosen.
Young Junior Miss for this year is Sophie Simmons, 12 year old daughter of Stephen and Jamie Simmons of Rector. First alternate was Charly Johnson, 10 year old daughter of Josh and Holly Johnson of Quiln, and the second alternate was Natalie Jade Holloway, 11 year old daughter of Rickie and Angel Holloway of Campbell.
Chosen as Junior Miss Piggott was Isabella Anne Rouse, 14 year old daughter of Dr. Brandon Rouse and Kimberley Pickens of Kennett. First alternate was Ashleigh Bedwell, 16 year old daughter of Treg and Dena Bedwell of Campbell, and the second alternate was Sydney Nicole Manchester, 15 year old daughter of Lori Manchester of Paragould.
And, in the finale of the first evening Sarah Hicks was chosen Mrs. Piggott for 2015, she's the wife of Josh Hicks. First alternate was Thrista Chase of Pollard, wife of Brandon Chase, and second alternate was Becky Lindsey of Rector, wife of Jason Lindsey.
Saturday, July 4, brought cool and cloudy conditions for the annual parade, as a large crowd lined the route through the city. Leading the way this year was Grand Marshal Eugene Mann, a Piggott native and veteran of several branches of the military.
Afterward, the traditional opening ceremonies were held at the picnic grounds with a welcome from Piggott Mayor Jim Poole and the National Anthem performed by the Marching Mohawk band. Several political speakers then took to the stage and addressed the crowd, including State Senator Blake Johnson, State Rep. Joe Jett, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, Clay County Judge Gary Howell, Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller and former State Rep. Mike Patterson. A related story on the political speakers may be found elsewhere in this edition.
Following the political speakers the crowd was treated to a performance by Enoch Richardson, who entertained until the start of the first pageant.
The first of the pageants on Saturday was Baby Mister and Miss Piggott, and the winners were. Baby Miss was Zoe Woolverton, seven month old daughter of Drew and Victoria Woolverton of Pollard. First alternate was Presley Faith Parrish, six month old daughter of Ashley Parrish of Rector, and second alternate was Katelyn Green, seven month old daughter of Aaron and Somer Green of Piggott. Baby Mister is Desmond Allen, seven month old son of Kylie and Jeremiah Allen of Paragould. First alternate is Christian Freedom Hobbs, three month old son of Michelle Thompson and Freedom Hobbs of Piggott, and the second alternate is Dylan Todd Cavaness, nine month old son of Christina and Nicholas Cavaness of Piggott.
Chosen as Tiny Miss Piggott for 2015 was Willow Brown, 16 month old daughter of Chris and Raven Brown of Jonesboro. First alternate was Macie May Hall, 22 month old daughter of Derek and Chelsea Hall of Piggott, and second alternate was Ariona Wyman, one year old daughter of Mike Wyman and Gayla Romine of Campbell. Chosen as Tiny Mister Piggott was Bostyn Milam, 16 month old son of Josh and Brittany Milam of Marmaduke. First alternate was Wyatt James Collett, 14 month old son of Michael and Micayla Collett of Corning, and second alternate was Abram Dodd, 15 month old son of Andrew and Mandy Dodd of Columbus, Miss.
Winner of the Little Miss Independence title this year was Josey Johnson, two year old daughter of Josh and Holly Johnson of Qulin. First alternate was McKenzie Rhein, three year old daughter of Blake and Laura Rhein of Harrison, second alternate was Adrianna Martin, four year old daughter of Chad and Bethar Martin of Poplar Bluff. Meanwhile, Little Mister Independence was Kyson Rabah, three year old son of Aaron and Brittany Rabah of Rector. First alternate was Carson Jax McKinnie, three year old son of Shayna Duffy and Cody McKinnie of Piggott, and second alternate was Kason Simmons, two year old son of David and Felicia Simmons of Piggott.
Molly Grace Vangilder was crowned Little Miss Firecracker in that pageant, she's the seven year old daughter of Aaron and Callie Harmon of Rector. First alternate was Makenna Brooke Lane, six year old daughter of Luke and Shaina Lane of Corning, and second alternate was Olivia Grace Minton, five year old daughter of Mark and Amber Minton of Piggott.
During the late afternoon and early evening hours the crowd was treated to another performance by Enoch Richardson, this time joined by his band, and by the gospel group Eternal Vision.
Saturday evening a large crowd gathered around the beauty revue stand, as 13 young ladies competed for the title of Miss Piggott. Chosen from among the contestants was Sadie Sawyers, 17 year old daughter of Chuck and Rachel Sawyers of Piggott. Along with her crown, she also received a $500 scholarship courtesy of Piggott State Bank as she plans to attend Williams Baptist College in the fall.
First alternate this year is Emily Hope, 20 year old daughter of Chuck and Dina Hope of Piggott, and the second alternate is Rianna Kae Holloway, 17 year old daughter of Rickie and Angel Holloway of Campbell.
Following the Miss Piggott pageant Eternal Vision returned to the stage, and entertained until 10 p.m. when the annual fireworks display was held. Sponsoring this year's fireworks was First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center.
Afterward, members of the Piggott Cemetery Association board of directors gathered on stage for the drawings. With the help of volunteers from the audience, the first drawing was held for a pistol which was raffled-off to benefit the cemetery association. And the winner was Dr. Donald Butcher of Campbell.
Finally, the long day ended with the three $5,000 money drawings, and this year's winners were--Karen Bageant of Piggott, Brenda Forrest of Piggott and Wayne Schremp of Perryville, Mo.
All proceeds from the annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Celebration benefit the continued maintenance and upkeep of the Piggott Cemetery.
In light of the fact it is not an election year, the turnout of politicians was light at the annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic. Only a handful of area politicians were on hand for the annual parade and picnic, with the group later making the trip to Corning to visit their celebration.
In keeping with recent tradition, former State Rep. Mike Patterson of Piggott had the honor of introducing those in attendance.
Those taking to the stage at the picnic grounds included the local state delegation, including State Senator Blake Johnson of Corning and State Rep. Joe Jett of Success. Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington was also in attendance, and offered a few remarks about the work of his office.
Also speaking were Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller, and County Judge Gary Howell, who told the crowd he has made the decision to retire at the conclusion of his current term. Afterward, Patterson told those in attendance he planned to seek the job of county judge, and officially began his campaign for the position.
A veteran of nearly 20 years in office, Howell is a native of the Pollard area and attended school at Piggott. Prior to seeking public office he operated a trucking company and farmed.
Patterson is a local native and served six years as an alderman on the Piggott City Council, then later served three terms as State Representative. He indicated a formal announcement concerning his campaign would be made at a later date.
Due to the change in the primary election for 2016, the filing period for candidates is set to begin in November.