Piggott Picnic Wrap-Up, Pollard and St. Francis Preview
Despite the threat of rain, conditions were excellent for the annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Celebration, which wrapped-up Monday. A morning shower, and a near-constant breeze, helped cool the parade route and picnic grounds throughout the day and evening, and large crowds responded.
This year's annual picnic actually kicked-off Saturday evening, with the first three pageants and an armband promotion for the carnival midway.
The first pageant of the weekend was for Young Junior Miss Piggott, as young ladies ages nine to 12 competed for the crown. The winner was a local native, and veteran of the pageant scene, as Sierra Minton was crowned. Sierra is the 11-year-old daughter of Mark and Amber Minton of Piggott. First alternate is Natalie Holloway, the 12-year-old daughter of Rickie and Angel Holloway, of Campbell, and the second alternate is Handley McAtee, the nine-year-old daughter of Bart and Laurie McAtee, of Kennett.
The next event was the Junior Miss Piggott Pageant, and the winner was Maggie Williams, the 14-year-old daughter of Travis and Shannon Williams of Piggott. First alternate was Sawyer Hendrix, the 15-year-old daughter of David and Cobi Hendrix, of Rector, and the second alternate was Abbie Coronado, the 15-year-old daughter of Jessica Smith and Sparkie Coronado, of Kennett.
And, the final event of Saturday evening was the Mrs. Piggott Pageant. This year's queen is Lauren Welch of Piggott. A PHS grad, she is the 31-year-old wife of Justin Welch. First alternate was Thrista Chase, of Pollard, the 41-year-old wife of Brandon Chase, and third alternate was Becky Lindsey, of Rector, the 46-year-old wife of Jason Lindsey.
Activities resumed Monday morning, and despite a cloudy and damp start the day weather conditions steadily improved. The annual parade featured a large number of entrants, and a good crowd lined the route. Serving as Grand Marshal this year was local physician Dr. Hillard Duckworth, a veteran of the Army Medical Corps.
Following the parade the traditional welcoming ceremonies were held at the beauty revue stand, including a rousing performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" by Molly Daffron. Introduced by MC C.W. Knauts, Mayor Jim Poole offered the invocation and gave the official welcome address.
A short time later a variety of office holders, and candidates, made their way to the picnic grounds and addressed the crowd. Those on hand this year included Clay County Judge Gary Howell, offering his final remarks, along with State Senator Blake Johnson, State Rep. Joe Jett, Senator John Boozman, Congressman Rick Crawford, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington and Congressional candidate Eldridge Conner. They were introduced by Clay County Judge-elect Mike Patterson.
Afterward, the politicians visited with those on hand and heard input on a variety of matters.
The pageant schedule continued just after 11 a.m. with the Baby Mister and Miss Piggott contest. This year's Baby Miss is Emma Claire Southerly, the 10-month-old daughter of Brittany Southerly of Piggott. First alternate was Carlee Faith Coleman, the 11-month-old daughter of Aaron and Ashley Coleman of Kennett, and second alternate was Heidi Jo Benson, nine-month-old daughter of Landon and Hayley Benson of Qulin. And, Baby Mister was Vicente Noah Garcia, the five-month-old son of Vicente and Rosy Garcia of Piggott. First alternate was Carson Wyatt Culver, the three-month-old son of Cody and Colbie Culver, of Pollard, and second alternate was Kade Evan Blake Hooks, the three-month-old son of Mike and Amy Hooks of Piggott.
Up next was the Tiny Mister and Miss Pageant, held for little boys and girls ages 12 to 24 months old. This year's Tiny Miss Piggott is Chesneigh Marie Broadway, the 18-month-old daughter of Jason and Alyssa Broadway, of Newark, Ark. First alternate is Rilee Brooke Stow, the 14-mont-old daughter of Lee and jennifer Stow, of Brookland, and the second alternate is Ella Jade Book, 21-month-old daughter of Chad Book and Lauren Hickson, of Piggott. Crowned Tiny Mister Piggott for 2016 was Alex Estes, the 15-month-old son of Keith and Holley Estes, of Piggott. First alternate was Bradley Phillips, the 17-month-old son of Kyle and Nikki Phillips, of Pottsville, Ark., and second alternate was Keyton Bageant, the one-year-old son of Harry and Karen Bageant of Piggott.
Afterward, the Little Mister and Miss Independence Pageant was held for boys and girls ages two to four. This year's Little Miss Independence is Laney Benson, the four-year-old daughter of Landon and Hayley Benson, of Qulin. First alternate is Naomi Nemitz, the two-year-old daughter of Cameron and Linsey Nemitz, of Piggott, and second alternate is Charlie Jo Sparks, two-year-old daughter of Jesse and Samantha Sparks of Brookland. And, crowned as Little Mister Indpendence was Caleb Benson, two-year-old son of Adam and Rachel Benson of Rector. First alternate was Kason Simmons, the three-year-old son of David and Felicia Simmons, of Piggott, and second alternate was Charlie Huffman, the three-and-one-half year old son of Travis and Erin Huffman of Young Harris, Ga.
The afternoon also included the Little Miss Firecracker Pageant, for girls ages five to eight. This year's queen is Maddelyn Phillips, the five-year-old daughter of Nikki and Kyle Phillips of Pottsville. First alternate is Chloe Coronado, the seven-year-old daughter of Jessica Smith and Sparkie Coronado, of Kennett, and second alternate is Rylee Cossey, the six-year-old daughter of Jessica and Lee Cossey, of Brookland.
Following the afternoon pageants the crowd was treated to live music which featured two well-known local performers. First up was recent PHS grad Megan Johnson, followed by the group Bombay Black, featuring Piggott area native Barry Whaley on drums.
The highlight of the event was the Miss Piggott Pageant, and this year's queen is Keragan Cunningham, the 19-year-old daughter of Daren and Shauna Cunningham, of Kennett. First alternate is Ashleigh Bedwell, the 17-year-old daughter of Treg and Dena Bedwell, of Campbell, and second alternate is Courtney Roberts, the 17-year-old daughter of Tammie Roberts of Holcomb.
Around 10 a.m. the Piggott Fire Department had the honor of setting-off the annual fireworks show, which drew a large crowd to the area around the picnic grounds. This year the show was improved, with additional fireworks, and proved to be a popular portion of the annual program.
The day's activities drew to a close just before 10:30 p.m. with the drawing for the three $5,000 cash prizes. And, this year all three winners were from Piggott, and included--Kecia Howell, Billy Girtman and Debby McNeely.
The schedule is set for the 84rd annual Pollard Picnic, set for this Saturday, July 9. The event is held each July at the picnic grounds in Pollard, with the proceeds benefiting the continued upkeep of the New Hope Cemetery.
The picnic is set to officially open at 9 a.m. and throughout the day there will also be live music between events and pageants. During the opening ceremonies the invocation will be given, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. Following the opening ceremony remarks from local and regional politicians, and candidates, will be heard. Afterward, at 10 a.m. the first of the pageants will be held. The complete schedule of all the pageants may be found elsewhere in this edition.
At 11 a.m. the kitchen will open and volunteers will be serving fried chicken dinners throughout the day. The full schedule of ball games will also be getting underway Saturday morning, and will wrap-up in the late afternoon hours.
Also on the schedule is the annual bubble gum bubble blowing contest, for boys and girls up to the age of 12, set for 2:30 p.m. Event organizers will also be recognizing the oldest man and women present, and the person traveling the furthest, with registration at the bank stand.
A variety of stands will be in operation throughout the day, and at 6 p.m. the annual auction of donated items will be held.
Visitors to the picnic will also have the opportunity to buy chances on drawings for $50, $100 and a handmade quilt and organizers note you do not have to be present to win. The drawings will be held at the conclusion of the picnic, following the annual Miss Pollard Pageant Saturday evening.
The pageant committee has released the following schedule of the events--
At 10 a.m. the Baby Pollard contest will be held for boys and girls ages birth through 12 months. The appropriate attire is sportswear or casual clothing. At 10:30 a.m. the toddler contest will be held for boys and girls ages one year through 24 months. This pageant will also feature sportwear or casual clothing.
At noon the Petite Miss and Mister Pollard Pageant will be held for boys and girls ages two to four. The attire for this pageant is also sportswear or casual clothing.
At 3 p.m. little girls ages five to seven will compete for the title of Little Miss Pollard. The attire for this pageant is also sportswear or casual clothing. Afterward, at 5 p.m., the Junior Miss Pollard Pageant will be held for young ladies ages 8 to 12. These contestants will also wear sportswear or casual wear only.
And, the highlight of the day will begin at 8 p.m., as young ladies ages 13 to 18 compete for the title of Miss Pollard 2016. The appropriate attire for the Miss Pollard event is pageant, or formal, wear.
The entry fee for each division is $25 and is payable the day of the event. All contestants are asked to register before the day of the contest, although organizers note there will not be a practice for any of the divisions. The committee further stipulated pageant wear is required in the Miss Pollard contest while all other divisions will wear sportswear/casual clothing.
Those wanting to register, or obtain more information, may call 870-450-0805, 573-429-9228 or 573-778-2535.
St. Francis Pageant Preview
Meanwhile, the annual St. Francis Picnic, to benefit the Hall-Gravel Hill Cemetery Association, will be held Saturday, July 16, at the picnic grounds in St. Francis. And, as usual a full slate of beauty pageants will be held throughout the day.
The entry fee for all pageants is $20, and registration will begin starting 30 minutes prior to each contest. No pageant wear will be permitted in the divisions for contestants ages birth to 12 years, however, pageant attire is required for the Miss St. Francis contest.
The first contest gets underway at 10 a.m. as baby girls and boys ages birth through 11 months will compete. Contestants must not have had their first birthday in order to qualify, and casual wear is the appropriate attire. Three trophies will be awarded in both the girls and boys division.
At 11 a.m. the baby contest for boys and girls ages 12 through 23 months will be held, and the attire for this event is also casual wear. Three trophies will be awarded in both the girls and boys division to the winners.
At 1 p.m. the toddler contest will be held for girls only, ages two to four. The appropriate attire is casual wear, and a queen will be crowned along with two alternates.
The Little Miss St. Francis Pageant will be held at 2 p.m. and is open to girls ages five to eight. Sunday dress is the appropriate attire for this pageant, and a queen and four alternates will be selected.
The Junior Miss St. Francis Pageant is set for 4 p.m. and is open to young ladies ages 9 to 12. This pageant will also feature Sunday dress as the appropriate attire, and a queen and four alternates will be selected by the judges.
The highlight of the day is set to begin at 8 p.m., as the Miss St. Francis Pageant is held for young ladies ages 13 to 18. Pageant wear is required for this division only, and the judges will be selecting a queen and four alternates.
Those wanting additional information on the pageants may call 870 598-5944 or 870 324-0656.