Independence Day Celebrations Scheduled

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Members of the board of the Piggott Cemetery Association show-off the big check symbollic of the three $5,000 drawings which will be held at the close of this year's Fourth of July Picnic. Pictured are, from left: Sharon Tillman, Brant Tanner, Scott Hartwell, Bobbi Johnson, Fred Ort and Dan Winberry.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Marmaduke's annual Independence Day Celebration will be held this coming weekend, and the schedule is set for the annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic, set for July 2 and 4.

Marmaduke's annual Independence Day Celebration will be Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, at the community center.

Beauty contests will begin at 6 p.m. Friday with the six-to-nine-year-old division, followed by the 10-to-12-year-old division at 7 and the 13-to-15-year-old division at 8 p.m.

Saturday's festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with a parade, beginning at the fire department and then moving down Main Street.

At 9:30 a.m. the welcome, invocation, singing of the National Anthem and recognition of little league teams will occur.

At 10 a.m. girls and boys ages newborn-to-12 months will compete in the baby contest, followed by a variety of songs from Gary Derr and Grant Adams at 11:30.. A youth talent contest for children 18-years-old and younger will begin at 1 p.m. and another baby beauty contest for ages 13-to 35-months-old will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Marmaduke and Lafe area churches will lead gospel singing at 3:30 p.m.

A beauty contest for boys and girls ages three-to-five-years-old will be at 5 p.m. followed by The Fabulous Stillbillys providing music.

The final beauty contest for 16-year-olds and up will be at 8 p.m. and fireworks will be set off at 9:30 p.m.

"America the Beautiful" is the theme for the 89th annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Homecoming celebration. With the holiday falling on Monday this year, activities at the picnic grounds in Piggott will be held both Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4. Serving as Grand Marshal for this year's parade is longtime local physician, and veteran, Dr. Hillard Duckworth.

There will also be a number of changes for this year's picnic, which benefits the continued maintenance and upkeep of the Piggott Cemetery. The hours of operation, and the menu, will be changing for the kitchen; there will be three seperate armband sessions for the carnival and the rides will be shutting down for an hour Monday afternoon from 3 to 4 for maintenance.

Activities are slated to kick-off Saturday, July 2, with the first three pageants as Young Junior Miss Piggott, Junior Miss Piggott and Mrs. Piggott are chosen. The complete schedule of pageants, including contact information, may be found elsewhere in this edition. The midway will also be open from 5 to 10 p.m. with the first armband promotion Saturday evening, and barbecue will be on sale in the log cabin. Once again this year the carnival rides are being provided by Johnson's Rides and Concessions, of El Dorado. They boast an 80-foot-tall ferris wheel, European Super Sizzler, 110 foot super slide, the Squirrel Cage, a rollercoaster and new kiddie rides. They also offer a variety of tasty treats, including funnel cakes, cotton candy and more.

Armbands are currently on sale for $15 each for each of the three sessions, and will be $20 at the picnic grounds. The first armband will be good for 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday evening and the second will be good from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, July 4. The carnival will be shut-down from 3 to 4 p.m. on Monday, and the third armband will be good from 4 to 10 p.m. Individual tickets for single rides will also be available. Advance armbands are available at The Treasure Chest, Al Williams and Sons Nursery, Fred Ort Insurance Agency, Piggott State Bank and First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center.

Parade registration will be conducted from 8 to 8:50 a.m., on Monday, July 4, at the Piggott Fire Station #1 and line-up will follow in the First Baptist Church parking lot. The parade is set to roll at 9, with Duckworth serving as Grand Marshal. Around 10 a.m. the traditional opening ceremonies will be held on the main stage, with the presentation of colors and National Anthem performed by the PHS Marching Mohawk band.

Following the invocation, Piggott Mayor Jim Poole will offer the official welcome. Afterward, Molly Daffron is scheduled to sing.

Around mid-morning, local attorney C. W. Knauts will have the honor of introducing the political speakers in attendance. Afterward, at 11 a.m., the pageant schedule resumes with the Baby Mr. and Miss Piggott pageant. Other pageants are set for noon, 12:30, 1:30, 2 and 3 p.m. as well.

This year the kitchen at the picnic grounds will once again be serving the traditional fried chicken meal, but will only be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Entertainment by Megan Johnson will be featured on the main stage beginning at 4 p.m. with additional entertainment to follow. Special entertainers for the evening will be Bombay Black, featuring Barry Whaley. They're slated to perform several sets prior to the Miss Piggott Pageant at 8 p.m. Once again this year the winner of the Miss Piggott Pageant will receive a $500 scholarship, compliments of Piggott State Bank.

The fireworks display is scheduled for 10 p.m. and event organizers note a new company is handling the fireworks this year, and promise the display will be bigger and better.

The picnic will end around 10:30 with the drawings for three $5,000 cash prizes. Tickets for the drawings are currently on sale from Piggott Cemetery Association members, and will be available throughout the two days of the activities at the picnic grounds.

Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Celebration will feature a full slate of pageants, beginning on the evening of Saturday, July 2, and continuing throughout the day on Monday, July 4. The entry fee for all pageants is $25 per contestant, and only specific attire will be allowed.

The first pageant begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, as young ladies ages 9 to 12 compete for the title Young Junior Miss Piggott. The attire for this pageant is formal wear only. At 6:30 p.m. young ladies ages 13 to 16 will participate in the Junior Miss Piggott Pageant, and the appropriate attire is formal pageant wear. And, at 8 p.m. the annual Mrs. Piggott Pageant will be held, and the attire is also formal.

The schedule for Monday, July 4, begins at 11:00 a.m. with the Baby Mr. and Miss pageant, for boys and girls ages birth to 11 months. It will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by the Tiny Mr. and Miss Piggott pageant for boys and girls ages 12 to 24 months. At 2 p.m. the Little Mr. and Miss Independence pageant will be held for boys and girls ages 2 to 4 years, followed at 3 p.m. by the Little Miss Firecracker pageant for little girls ages 5 to 8.

The highlight of the day will begin at 8 p.m. as Miss Piggott 2016 is chosen from young ladies ages 17 to 21. The attire is formal pageant wear, and the winner will also receive a $500 scholarship courtesy of Piggott State Bank.

Those wanting additional information may contact pageant director Sarah Graves at 870-634-7727.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: