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Hay Dayz gets ramped up

Carnival rides, competitions, good food and great fun will make up the second annual Hay Dayz Festival.

Co-sponsored by the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, Hay Dayz this year will be Saturday, September 10, at the Demopolis River City Landing and the George Franks Field off U.S. Highway 43 North.

The Second Annual Hay Dayz is set for Sept. 10 at the Demopolis City Landing. This year’s event will see significant changes from last year, including a switch in month and venue.

W.J. Attractions Carnival will open Thursday, September 8, and run through Saturday. September 10. Those enjoying the rides may purchase tickets or arm bands.

A full slate of activities is planning for Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Pony rides, a mechanical bull, bungee trampoline, inflatables and a variety of food vendors will be available in the City Landing area.

Last year’s event – the first of its kind – was hindered by a tropical depression that brought torrential rains before, during and after the August event.

The 2011 installment has been moved to September, hopeful to dodge rain and heat, and will see many additions to the lineup from last year. The site has also been moved from the Botanical Gardens to the river’s edge.

“What we want is to have an old time county fair atmosphere,” event organizer Diane Brooker said. “Something that’s interactive with the public and family friendly.”

In the George Franks Field the Foundation will host local artisans and craftsmen as well as local groups who wish to sell items. Entertainment is being lined up during the day, and a kids’ talent show from ages 6-18 will begin at 6 p.m. Entry into the George Franks Field is $5 for 12 and older for the entire day.

The event features carnival rides, games, contests and competitions and this year several more have been added.

Recent additions call for a pie baking contest and auction, an animal calling/sound contest and raft and lawnmower races and a watermelon seed spitting contest.

The hay bale art competition is a holdover from last year and will again be judged by hay art aficionado Jim Bird. The first 10 people to pre-register will get a hay bale for $10 and are limited to $10 worth of items to create their art. Construction begins at 10 a.m. with the winners announced at 12:30 p.m.

“That was a hit last year,” Brooker said, “but we had a few people who registered that didn’t come because of the rain. And the people that did come had to work those two hours in the rain.”

Other holdovers from last year include a corn dog competition, rides, inflatables and talent show.

Hopes for better weather not withstanding, Brooker said she anticipates this year to be even better than last year with a few lessons learned under their belts.

“The things that we had control over, I think went pretty well,” Brooker said of the event that serves as a fundraiser for the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and Demopolis City Schools Foundation.

Also throughout the day will be other contests such as pie baking, animal noises and watermelon seed-spitting

For information on taking part in the contests or becoming a vendor, contact the DACC at 33-289-0270 or the Foundation at 334-289-2226.