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Hay Dayz will feature more contests

Hay Dayz will take on a slightly different feel in its second year, offering a wide array of contests as it relocates to a new location.

The event will officially begin the evening of Thursday, Sept. 8 when the festival’s carnival opens.

“W.J. Attractions will be at the city landing for our entertainment from Thursday all the way through the festival,” Demopolis Chamber of Commerce director and event organizer Jenn Tate said. “It was a Friday afternoon through a Saturday, but because of our health department laws about food, it seemed to be easier to contain it to one day and just let the carnival run longer. This is a home game weekend, so there should be plenty of people to come by after the game.”

The event, which was at Demopolis Botanical Gardens in 2010, will relocate to the city landing this year as the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and the Demopolis City School Foundation again collaborate for Hay Dayz.

“George Franks Field will house all of the Demopolis City School Foundation events at vendors,” Tate said.

“The whole focus we’re trying to do is highlight the skills and performing talents of local people,” DCSF executive director Jan McDonald said. The DCSF portion of the event will feature local vendors with homemade foods as well as local entertainment throughout the day leading up to a talent show scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Gates for the DCSF portion of the event are scheduled to open at 9 a.m.

On the Chamber of Commerce side of the event, there will be five contests to keep patrons entertained and involved throughout the day.

“The one thing that our chairman, Diane Brooker, noticed last year was that, even through the rain, people loved the contests,” Tate said. “So this year, besides the chamber’s carnival, we have five contests.”

The festival’s signature competition, the hay bale decorating contest, will again be judged by Jim Bird.

“Due to the name of the festival, we have our hay bale contest judged by Jim Bird,” Tate said.

That contest will begin at 10 a.m. and run through noon and participants must pre-register at the Chamber of Commerce. The cost of the event is $10 and participants are only allowed to use $10 worth of items in decorating their hay bale.

Hay Dayz will again feature the corn dog eating competition in which participants will have 10 minutes to eat and keep down as many corn dogs as possible. Participants for that event are to pre-register at the Chamber of Commerce, which includes the $10 registration fee.

New competitions include the watermelon seed spitting contest. Vowell’s will be assisting with that contest and participants will have three opportunities to get their best watermelon seed distance. Participation in that event cost $1 for a slice of watermelon.

Hay Dayz will also feature an animal noises competition, sponsored by Verizon Cellular Center. That contest will allow participants across three age groups to compete to make their best animal noise without assistance of any foreign instrument.

The final contest will be a pie baking competition. Contestants can compete in two categories, cream/meringue pies and dessert pies.

“Each baker has to bake two pies because one will actually be auctioned off,” Tate said.

The contests will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 3:30 p.m. There will be prizes for each competition.

“Certainly with all these contests, no one will walk away bored,” Tate said. “Let’s all pray for a dry, beautiful, comfortable day.”

Tate also said there will be a number of attractions aside from the carnival and contests.

“We will have those children’s inflatable rides, a mechanical bull, pony rides and a bungee trampoline. We know the Demopolis City School Foundation has plenty to do within the George Franks Field,” Tate said.