By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun
It’s truly a celebration of life in a small Texas town — and a story of working together for the betterment of a community.
The Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival, preparing for its eighth annual celebration, is gearing up for a “bigger and better than ever” event on Saturday, Oct. 20. With a return of the hot air balloons added to the show last year, the 2012 festival is set to again fill downtown Kerens with visitors and fun, said Gayle Steed, chairman of the celebration.
Some new features to the 2012 Cotton Harvest Festival include a bee hive exhibit in the Kerens Garden Park; tours of a helicopter on the baseball field on South Colket; and a tour of several reconditioned travel trailers from the past, located on Third Street.
“They’re called ‘Sisters on the Fly,’” Steed explained. “They offer vintage trailer tours ... they bring vintage travel trailers for people to tour.”
Now known as the second largest festival in Navarro County. Born in 2005 as a fund-raiser to help payoff a loan to help build the new Kerens Public Library, it is now the largest fundraiser for the library’s operations. The new facility opened in 2008, and includes computers for public use, a meeting room, children’s room, and a spacious reading area. Additions to the library since its opening have enhanced its offerings and popularity.
Saturday’s day full of fun begins with a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast, and for those with a little more energy that early, the Cotton Row Run 1K and 5K event begins registration at 7 a.m.
“We’re expecting about 250 runners for the Cotton Row Run,” she said.
Also returning, the antique tractor show, always a big hit, she said.
And a champion horse shoe pitcher will be running the horse shoe competition — Frank Bator of Corsicana, who has won the Texas state championship the last two years, Steed said.
A flag raising and flyover by the Coyote Squadron will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with activities all day long downtown including a carnival, children’s activities, arts and crafts displays, a chili cookoff, mule wagon rides, and another hot air balloon “glow” slated for sunset.
Entertainment will be aplenty throughout the day with a variety of artists performing, including bands, cloggers, line dancers and solo artists, with the night culminating with a street dance featuring Ira Bradford and Bustin’ Loose.
A carnival will be on hand for family entertainment Thursday through Saturday, with a special “one price for all rides” offered Thursday and Friday Steed said.
A live radio broadcast on KCKL-FM from Malakoff will take place as well, Steed added, with a lot of free prizes being given away.
For more information on the 2012 Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival, visit the Web site at www.kerenscottonharvestfestival.com.
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