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Hay Dayz round 2: Drier and more to do

If you missed Hay Dayz last year, you were in the majority.

A persistent and at times torrential downpour pretty much washed away any hopes of the first annual event coming out of the gates with a bang.

But still, those who came – and there were a lot – enjoyed themselves.

This year they should enjoy themselves even more. And those of you who skipped it should mark it on your calendar this time around.

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.

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.

On Sept. 10 the festival’s signature competition, the hay bale decorating contest, will again be judged by Jim Bird.

Last year’s contest was won my Brian Brooker and his family. They constructed a giant peacock that looked so real you expected it to walk away before judging.

With experience under their belts, I think you’ll find this year’s hay art even better. 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.

Pies will be auctioned off as part of the fundraiser that is Hay Dayz, so you’re pretty much assured of getting a fantastic pie for simply coming down to the water and placing a bid.

I hope each of you will make your way down to the river Sept. 8-10 for the carnival rides and Sept. 10 for the contest.

You’re sure to have a good time.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of The Demopolis Times.