Pollard Picnic Held, St. Francis Picnic at Hand

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Ashleigh Bedwell, 16, of Campbell (center) was crowned Miss Pollard at the annual picnic Saturday evening. She is the daughter of Dena and Treg Bedwell. First alternate is Sydney Manchester (left) the 15 year old daughter of Lori Manchester of Paragould and second alternate is Madison Blair Steward, 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Brooke Steward of Holcomb.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Picnic season is in full swing, as another Pollard Picnic is history and the annual St. Francis picnic is set for this Saturday.

Pollard Wrap-Up

It was a busy day in Pollard on Saturday, July 11, as the annual Pollard Picnic was held to benefit the continued upkeep of the New Hope Cemetery. And, despite temperatures in the mid-90s, good crowds were on hand throughout the day-long event which included pageants, live music, games, food and the annual softball contests.

MC Gary Conley officially opened the picnic Saturday morning, as the traditional ceremonies were held at the picnic grounds. Afterward, those in attendance heard from the political speakers and candidates on hand. Those taking a turn at the microphone included State Rep. Joe Jett, of Success, along with Clay County Judge Gary Howell, and former State Rep. Mike Patterson, who is also a candidate for county judge. Howell announced recently he was retiring at the conclusion of his current term, which ends Dec. 31, 2016, and Patterson has announced his candidacy as his replacement.

Following the opening ceremonies, the crowd was treated to live music from J.R. Rogers and his All-Stars, who provided entertainment throughout the remainder of the day between events.

At 10 a.m. the schedule of pageants got underway, with the Baby Mister and Baby Miss Pollard pageants. This year's Baby Miss Pollard is Kelsey Austin, seven month old daughter of Scott and Lindsey Austin of Brosely, Mo. First alternate is Karleigh Parson, seven month old daughter of Emily and Aaron Parson of Piggott, and second alternate was Kimber Owens, six-and-a-half month old daughter of Benny and Megan Owens of Corning.

Meanwhile, Baby Mister Pollard is Desmond Allen, seven month old son of Kylie and Jeremiah Allen of Paragould. First alternate is Wesley Holifield, nine month old son of Cheyenne Holifield of Paragould and second alternate is Knox Pike, three month old son of Jillian Parker and Cord Pike of Piggott.

Winner of the Toddler Miss Pollard pageant was Amelin Hall, 17 month old daughter of Alexandra and J.T. Hall of Weiner. First alternate is Adalee Wood, 23 month old daughter of Chelsea and Wesley Wood of Piggott and second alternate is Addison Brannon, 17 month old daughter of Jordan and Amanda Brannon of Rector.

Crowned as Toddler Mister Pollard this year was Jase Welch, 20 month old son of Lauren and Justin Welch of Piggott. First alternate is Gus Brown, 21 month old son of Todd Latta and Melissa Brown of Pollard.

This year's Petite Miss Pollard is Ella Vancil, daughter of Brandon and Corey Vancil of Qulin. First alternate is Laney Benson, daughter of Landon and Hayley Benson of Qulin and second alternate is Olivia Hendley, daughter of Jonathan and Ashley Hendley of Pollard.

Crowned as Petite Mister Pollard was Colt Garrett, son of Brett and Heather Garrett of Ballston Lake, N.Y. First alternate is Landon Rubenstein, son of Lauren and Josh Rubenstein of St. Louis and second alternate is Thomas Welty, son of Lee and Nikole Welty of Qulin.

Ivy Claire Benson was crowned Little Miss Pollard Saturday afternoon, she's the daughter of Dustin and Nicole Benson of Qulin. First alternate is Halen Miller, daughter of Dustin and Heather Miller of Paragould and second alternate is Katelyn Hill, daughter of Doug and Madison Hill of Corning.

Winner of the Junior Miss Pollard pageant was Elizabeth Ennis, 12 year old daughter of Connie Pendergrass and Doyn Ennis of Success. First alternate is Jacy Featherston, 12 year old daughter of Sara Wellman and Jeremy Featherston of Piggott, and second alternate is Maddy Taylor, 12 year old daughter of Clay and Nicole Taylor of Success.

In the highlight of the annual picnic Saturday evening, Ashleigh Bedwell was crowned Miss Pollard for 2015 from among over a dozen competitors. She's the 16 year old daughter of Dena and Treg Bedwell, of Campbell. First alternate is Sydney Manchester, 15 year old daughter of Lori Manchester of Paragould and second alternate is Madison Blair Steward, 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Brooke Steward of Holcomb.

Following the Miss Pollard pageant the annual drawings were held, and the winners included Micaha Culver of Pollard, winner of the $50 prize and Wayne O'Guin of McDougal, winner of the $100 prize. Meanwhile, the winner of the annual quilt drawing was Joan Davis of Kennett.

St. Francis Preview and Pageant Schedule

The schedule is set for the annual St. Francis Picnic, being held this Saturday, July 18, to benefit the Hall and Gravel Hill cemeteries. The popular regional event is held at the picnic grounds in St. Francis, with a full slate of activities going on throughout the day.

The picnic will officially open at 9:45 a.m. with the welcome address from Randy Deprow, of St. Francis First 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 remainder of 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 Mike Patterson, candidate for Clay County Judge, and the queen's trophy has been donated by Piggott State Bank. The queen will also receive a 2015 collector's silver coin donated by Hoggard and Son's Funeral Home. Trophies for the alternates this year are being provided by David Copelin, Attorney at Law; Chuck, Sherry and Brian Schulte of Sherry's Hair Port and Front Street Pizza; Clay County Air Conditioning and Refrigeration of St. Francis and Clay County Sheriff and Collector Terry Miller.

Live entertainment is scheduled to continue 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 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 Clay County Judge Gary Howell and family; MFA Agri-Services Midsouth of St. Francis; 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 following the Miss St. Francis pageant, 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 cash prizes. Picnic organizers noted you must be present to win the cash drawings.

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

A full slate of beauty pageants have been scheduled in conjunction with the annual St. Francis Picnic, being held in St. Francis, Ark., on Saturday, July 18.

Organizers note the fee for all pageants is $20 and registration will begin 30 minutes prior to each contest. They further noted no pageant wear will be permitted in ages birth to 12 years; however, pageant attire is required for the Miss St. Francis contest only.

Beginning at 10 a.m. the baby contest will be held for boys and girls ages birth through 11 months, and the entrant must not have had their first birthday. Three trophies will be awarded in both the girls and boys division, and casual wear is the proper attire.

The baby contest for ages 12 through 23 months is set for 11 a.m. with trophies awarded to the top three in both the boys and girls division. This event also features casual wear as the attire.

At 1 p.m. the toddler contest will be held for girls only ages 2 to 4 years. A queen will be crowned in this event, along with two alternates, and the proper attire is casual wear.

At 2 p.m. the Little Miss St. Francis pageant will be held for girls ages 5 to 8, with a queen and four alternates chosen. The appropriate attire for this event is Sunday dress.

The 4 p.m. pageant is Junior Miss St. Francis, as young ladies ages 9 to 12 compete for the crown. A queen and four alternates will be chosen, and the attire for this event is also Sunday dress only, with no pageant wear allowed.

The highlight of the day will get underway at 8 p.m. as young ladies ages 13 to 18 compete for the title of Miss St. Francis 2015. A queen and four alternates will be chosen from among the entrants, and formal pageant wear is the proper attire.

All proceeds from the pageants benefit the Hall-Gravel Hill Cemetery Association. Those wanting more information on the pageants may call 870 598-5944 or 870 598-3740.

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