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Hay Dayz will be a bale of a good time

The 10th annual Freedom on the River was a huge success, pulling an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people to the banks of the Tombigbee River July 4 to enjoy the children’s patriotic parade and the fireworks display that followed.

Now, the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing for a new summertime riverside festival for the city of Demopolis called Hay Dayz.

Hay Dayz will take place on Friday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Demopolis Botanical Gardens, where West Washington Street curves and becomes Glover Avenue next to the river. The two-day event is as close to a county fair as you can get without actually calling it a county fair.

The festival will feature carnival rides, live entertainment, food vendors, a mechanical bull, a talent show, inflatables, a bungee trampoline, pony rides and two contests that are sure to be a hit: a hay bale art show and a corn dog eating contest.

Anything I could make out of a bale of hay would hardly be anything worth looking at. However, the corn dog eating contest sounds like a lot of fun. And thanks are due to Foster Farms for partnering in this venture.

If these two items interest you, you’d better get your name on the list now. The deadline to pre-register is Thursday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m.

The entry fee for the contests is $10 for each contest. The hay bale design contest will be held on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. The first 20 people or groups to pre-register will get a hay bale and are limited to $10 worth of items to create the art. Found objects may also be used to decorate their hay bale. Local hay bale artist Jim Bird will judge the contest.

The corndog-eating contest will begin on Saturday at noon for the first 10 people to pre-register. A concert featuring the Steven Padilla Band will bring the Hay Dayz festival to a lively close, beginning Saturday at 8 p.m.

I hope to you down at Hay Dayz next month. A lot of good people have already put in a lot of hard work to get to this point. There’s still a lot to be done. The best appreciation we can show is to attend this event, ensure that it is successful and have a good time in the process. And, maybe, eat a few dozen corn dogs in the process.

Jason Cannon is the editor and publisher of The Demopolis Times.