Pollard Picnic Held, St. Francis Picnic is Saturday

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Gary Conley, Judge Gary Howell, Judge-Elect Mike Patterson and Marty Conley gather for a group photo at the annual Pollard Picnic. A native of the area, this was Howell's final appearance at the picnic as county judge.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

It's picnic season across Northeast Arkansas, and the schedule continued last week at Pollard. This Saturday the annual St. Francis Picnic will be held.

Pollard Wrap Up

Despite an early evening thunderstorm, attendance was high, and record amounts of money were raised, as the annual Pollard Picnic was held Saturday, July 9, to benefit the New Hope Cemetery. Due to the storm, which dumped several inches of rainfall on the Pollard area, the final pageant of the day was moved to nearby New Hope Church, and Miss Pollard for 2016 was crowned in the Hope Center.

Madison Steward (center), was crowned Miss Pollard for 2016 at the conclusion of Saturday's picnic. She's the 15-year-old daughter of Kyle and Brooke Steward, of Holcomb. First alternate is Courtney Roberts (right), the 17-year-old daughter of Tammie Roberts, of Holcomb, and second alternate is Sydni Rebstock, the 17-year-old daughter of Tiffany and Matt Rebstock, also of Holcomb.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

In keeping with tradition, the annual picnic was declared open Saturday morning by Master of Ceremonies Gary Conley. The early morning crowd also heard from Clay County Judge Gary Howell, and judge-elect Mike Patterson, as they addressed those on hand.

Prior to the first pageant of the day, those in attendance enjoyed live music provided by J.R. Rogers and his All-Star Band. The group of talented musicians also entertained the crowds between the afternoon pageants, and other scheduled events, prior to the downpour.

The first pageants of the day were the baby contests, with two dozen little girls and four boys competing for the titles. Crowned as Baby Mister Pollard was Sawyer Carroll, the 11-month-old son of Kristi and Jeff Carroll, of St. Louis. First alternate was Jasper Culver, six-month-old son of Matt and Amanda Culver, of Pollard, second alternate was Tucker Laxton, four-month-old son of Keifer and Tishana Laxton, of Piggott, and third alternate was Cason Culver, the three-month-old son of Cody and Colbie Culver, of Pollard.

Baby Miss Pollard is Aniston Benton, the 11-month-old daughter of Tyler and Rachel Benton, of Corning. First alternate is Hallie Claire Simpson, 11-month-old daughter of Jade and Casey Simpson, of Rector, while second alternate is Amelia Rodery, 11-month-old daughter of John Rodery and Courtney Dunlap, of Piggott.

This year's Toddler Miss Pollard is Lillian Grace Blue, 22-month-old daughter of Blake and Houston Blue, of Qulin. First alternate is Kimber Owens, 18-month-old daughter of Benny and Megan Owens, of Corning, and second alternate is Kelsey Austin, the 19-month-old daughter of Lindsay and Scott Austin, of Broseley, Mo.

Crowned as Toddler Mister Pollard was Cam Crawford, the 13-month-old son of Reece and Catherine Crawford, of Nashville, Tenn. First alternate is Cash Leach, 16-month-old son of Rachel Janes and Ronnie Leach, of Corning, and second alternate is Rayner Carpenter, 20-month-old son of Matthew and Kelsey Carpenter, also of Corning.

During the mid-day hour the Petite Miss and Mister Pollard pageant was held. There was only one entry in the boy's pageant, as Abram Dodd was crowned Petite Mister Pollard for 2016. He's the two-year-old son of Andrew and Mandy Dodd, of Columbus, Miss.

This year's Petite Miss Pollard is Aleah Lewis, the two-year-old daughter of Suzanne and Austin Lewis, of Sherwood, Ark. First alternate is Sadie Rau, the two-year-old daughter of Walter and Kaitlin Rau, of Piggott, and second alternate is Mia Lowe, the four-year-old daughter of Jarrod and Stephanie Lowe, of Piggott.

A large group of girls competed for the title of Little Miss Pollard Saturday afternoon, and this year's queen is Rylee Cossey, the six-year-old daughter of Jessica and Lee Cossey, of Brookland. First alternate is Chloe Coronado, the seven-year-old daughter of Jessica Smith and Sparkie Coronado, of Kennett, and second alternate is Ava Josalyn Jones, the six-year-old daughter of Sara Graves and Travis Jones, of Piggott.

Up next was the annual Junior Miss Pollard Pageant, and this year's queen is Sierra Lyne Minton, the 11-year-old daughter of Mark and Amber Minton, of Piggott. First alternate is Liza Jane Priggel, the nine-year-old daughter of Joey and Heather Priggel, of Portageville, Mo., and the second alternate is Leona Rodriguez, the 10-year-old daughter of Antonio and Stacey Chevella, of Pollard.

And, despite the threatening conditions a total of 15 young ladies competed for the crown of Miss Pollard, with the pageant held at the nearby New Hope Church. This year it was a sweep for the girls from Holcomb, as they took all three of the top spots in the judge's eyes. This year's Miss Pollard is Madison Steward, the 15-year-old daughter of Kyle and Brooke Steward, of Holcomb. First alternate is Courtney Roberts, 17-year-old daughter of Tammie Roberts, of Holcomb, and second alternate is Sydni Rebstock, the 17-year-old daughter of Tiffany and Matt Rebstock, also from Holcomb.

This year all of the crowns were donated by the Treasure Chest, of Piggott, while the trophies for the morning pageants were donated by Piggott State Bank. Trophies for the afternoon and evening pageants were donated by Clay County elected officials, including Judge Gary Howell, Treasurer Carolyn Morrisett, Clerk Pat Poole, Circuit Clerk Janet Kilbreath and Assessor Tracy Gurley.

St. Francis Preview

A full schedule of events is set for the annual St. Francis Picnic, being held this Saturday, July 16, to benefit the Hall and Gravel Hill cemeteries. The popular mid-summer event is held each July at the picnic grounds in St. Francis, with a full slate of activities going on throughout the day.

The picnic will officially open for this year at 9:45 a.m. with the welcome address from Bro. Trent Grimes, of the Oasis Church of St. Francis.

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.

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 Piggott Realty, and the queen's trophy has been donated by Piggott State Bank. The queen will also receive a 2016 collector's silver coin donated by Hoggard and Son's Funeral Home. Trophies for the alternates this year are being provided Joe and Tracy Cole of the Inn at Piggott; 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 another performance by Marcus White.

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 day 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 trophy were both donated by Ed and Pat Morris, and a $50 cash prize, has been donated by Route 66 Restoration and Supply, of Kennett. 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.

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.

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