By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun
After an overcast morning, and a very brief light rain shower, ample sunshine blessed the rest of Derrick Days Saturday, bringing thousands of people to the downtown area.
The annual celebration — known for chili, cars and now a motorcycle road event — filled the streets of downtown with young and old alike, enjoying dozens of vendor booths, a variety of foods, music and events.
Derrick Days Chairman Fran Townes said Saturday afternoon the event went smoothly from an operational perspective.
“You’re always going to have a little early morning confusion getting set up, but things have gone well,” she said.
With a modified layout from past years, more of the vendor booths were spread north and south along Beaton Street, stretching from Seventh Avenue all the way to Second Avenue. It turned out to be a plus, Townes said.
“This was so much easier, spreading it out,” she said. “We’ve gotten some really good comments.
A donation booth set up to benefit the Derrick Days operational fund also had a good day, Townes said.
Entries in the Shakers and Scrapers Car Show were strong, with large crowds roaming through the rows and rows of classic cars and trucks. The club announced Saturday half its proceeds would be going to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and half to help with the recovery efforts for the citizens of West, hard hit by a devastating explosion at a fertilizer plant earlier this month.
Participation in two other main activities — the chili cookoff and the City of Corsicana Parks and Recreation Department “Biker Bash” — also had good participation.
“We had over 250 riders in the Biker Bash, it was a tremendous turnout,” said Sharla Allen, parks and recreation director. Last year’s event drew just under 100 participants. In addition to the “Poker Run” motorcycle rally race, events included a contest for the motorcycles in several categories, a “burn out” contest, and a men’s and women’s arm-wrestling competition. One small road accident during the 100-mile tri-county run resulted in only minor injuries to two riders in the race, she said, adding “everyone’s OK.”
Two entertainment stages stayed busy throughout the day, with gospel music at one, and student choirs from the Corsicana Independent School District performing on a stage across from the Palace Theatre. Live music also kept crowds in attendance at the Biker Bash entertained.
Sheriff Elmer Tanner served as Grand Marshal of the Derrick Days Parade. The float entry by MeMaw’s Misfits took first place in the parade judging.
Corsicana Police Chief Randy Bratton reported no major incidents during the celebration. He said there were four arrests in the downtown Corsicana area Friday night — two on warrants, and two others on charges of disorderly conduct/language.
Corsicana EMS crews did have a pair of calls into the festival Saturday — one medical emergency near Collin and Beaton Street around 2 p.m., and a second to a report of a head injury near Commerce and Ninth Avenue. Further details on those incidents were not immediately available.
Saturday’s events finished off four days of activities for Derrick Days, including a hot dog lunch and dinner with concert Wednesday, the Mystery in Tuckertown Art Show and Wine and Cheese Stroll Thursday, and a street dance and the inaugural “Oil Baron’s Ball” held on Friday.
Saturday evening capped off the Derrick Days schedule with a performance by country artist Randy Brown in a dinner and show held at the Palace Theatre.
A list of winners of the Biker Bash and Shakers and Scrapers Car Show will appear online Monday, and in the Tuesday print edition of the Daily Sun.
Bob Belcher may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: email@example.com