This year's Howdy Neighbor Days festival will have a new "twist," according to Sandy Lakin, event chairman. This year the festival is being called "Howdy Neighbor Good Ole Days, which will features some new events. The annual festival will begin on Wednesday Aug. 15 and continue through Saturday, Aug. 18.
On Wednesday night, entertainment will kick-off this year's event, with Josh Jennings and Bob Alexander performing from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Whisman Family will follow at 8 p.m.
Thursday, the Center Creek Sinners will perform from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., followed by Southern Saints, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening's entertainment will wind up with Brookline Station at 9 p.m.
Rides and games of chance, from J&J Magic Midway, along with a dozen crafters and food vendors, offering their goods, will line the road at South Park. Armbands will be available for fair-goers all four nights. Armbands will be offered at a dollar off on Wednesday and Thursday with a coupon.
On Friday the evening will kick-off with Kids Got Talent from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded to winners in two divisions, ages 10 and under and 16 and under. Prizes for the younger division will include $50 for first place, $25 for second place and $15 for third place. For the older division, $75 is the first place prize, $50 for second and $25 for third.
The Mark Chapman Band is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. on Friday.
Other attractions include the Knights of Columbus #71390 beer garden, barbecued rib dinners from members of Decatur Masonic Lodge #400, and the Howdy Neighbor Days Ring-O game.
The Pierce City Senior Citizens Center will offer breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. on Saturday.
A quilting competition, featuring machine or hand-quilted items made within the last 10 years, will be held on Saturday. Entries will be accepted under the tent at Pierce City's South Park from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and voting will begin at 1 p.m. Winners will be determined by a public vote.
A pie baking contest is also on tap with entries being accepted from noon to 12:30 p.m. Judging gets underway under the tent at 12:30 p.m. and winners will be determined on appearance, taste, texture and crust. A panel of three judges will sample the entries.
In the afternoon, guys can strut their stuff during the hay bale toss and nail driving contests. Entries will be accepted starting at 1 p.m. with the competition getting underway under the tent at 2 p.m. Winners will be announced at 8:30 p.m.
Contestants must register under the tent at 2:30 p.m. to vie for the title of Mr. Sexy Legs. Other contest winners will include the whitest, skinniest and hairiest legs categories. Private nominations will be accepted for this event. The contest begins at 3 p.m.
The Howdy Neighbor Days Jail is back this year, complete with a sheriff on hand to keep order at the festival. Attendees will have the opportunity to have someone arrested for a $2 fee. The prisoner will be released after he or she is able to make their $2 bond.
The carnival opens at 4 p.m. on the midway and United We Stand will also take the stage for a special performance.
The Howdy Neighbor Day Idol Contest will get underway at 4:30 p.m. with local competing for the $300 first place prize. Second place winner will receive $200 and third place winner will take home $100.
At 6 p.m., line up along the banks of Clear Creek for the annual duck race. The prize this year is $500. Ducks may be purchased at a cost of $3 each.
The Rhatigan Brothers will take the stage from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with contest winners announced at 8:30 p.m.
Local recording artist Leon Troyer and the Last Mile Band will wrap up the annual festivities with a concert starting at 9 p.m.
For more information, or to volunteer, call Lakin at 669-3543.