Piggott Fourth of July Picnic is Set

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Piggott Cemetery Association board members Fred Ort and Jim Parks show-off the symbolic $5,000 check which will be presented to three different winners at next week's Fourth of July Picnic.
TD photo/Tim Blair

Those who have served, and are serving, their nation will be honored and remembered at the 91st edition of the Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Homecoming. This year organizers have adopted the theme, “The Patriots of Piggott” for the annual parade and Fourth of July Celebration, set for Wednesday, July 4.

In keeping with the patriotic theme, the grand marshal for this year's parade is James Lasswell, son of war hero and former Piggott resident Alva Lasswell. A special recognition ceremony is also planned, as Lasswell will be remembered for his role as one of the military's top code-breakers in World War II. The members of the Lasswell family will also be donating items related to his recent induction into the Arkansas Military Veteran's Hall of Fame, which are slated to be placed on permenant display at the community center.

For the 2018 edition, the annual picnic also promises more entertainment, along with the usual offerings—including the food favorites, such as barbecue and fried chicken, for which it is known.

This year's activities will actually get underway the evening of Tuesday, July 3, with an armband promotion on the midway and the first three pageants. (see separate story) The log cabin will also open Tuesday, with whole and chopped barbecue butts being sold starting at 3 p.m. Sandwiches will be available beginning at 4, and throughout the morning and afternoon on Wednesday as the supply lasts. The Fagus General Baptist Church hamburger stand will also open at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, along with the Piggott Cemetery Association stand. They'll be selling tickets for the three $5,000 drawings, with the raffle winners chosen Wednesday night at the conclusion of the fireworks.

For another traditional offering, the picnic grounds kitchen will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the Fourth of July and will be serving fried chicken dinners while supplies last. Dinners are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and to-go plates will be available.

The first armband promotion will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3. Armbands will also be available for Wednesday, July 4, although organizers remind everyone the carnival will be closed from 2 to 4 p.m. The armbands are $25 if purchased by Saturday, June 30, and will be $30 on July 3 and 4.

Advance sales of armbands are currently underway at Cox Lumber Company, Fred Ort Insurance Agency, Williams Nursery, Piggott State Bank, First National Bank-Piggott Banking Center, The Treasure Chest and The Nest.

Once again this year the midway will feature Johnson's Rides and Concessions, an amusement company which has been serving the region since 1947. And, in keeping with tradition they'll also feature the best in carnival foods—including funnel cakes, cotton candy and more.

In a major improvement over previous years, picnic organizers have added more entertainment for this year's event, including special acts while the carnival is closed Wednesday afternoon. During this time there will be a magic show featuring Rocky Clements' Show of Wonder and gospel music featuring the group Eternal Vision.

This year a special musical act will also be performing from 6 to 8 p.m., leading up the Miss Piggott Pageant Wednesday evening, as area favorite Dillan Cate will entertain those in attendance.

In addition to the performances, the annual picnic will offer the traditional fare as well. The annual parade is set to roll at 9 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 at Piggott Fire Station #1 on West Jackson. The parade will be followed by the opening ceremony and political speakers on the main stage. The Miss Piggott Pageant will highlight the evening, followed by the annual fireworks display at 10 p.m. and the cash drawings.

All proceeds from the annual Piggott Fourth of July Picnic and Homecoming benefit the continued upkeep of the Piggott Cemetery.

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