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Dogwood Days turns 25!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vendors and shopping galore will just be part of the fun at this year's 25th Annual Dogwood Days Festival in Horseshoe Bend. Beginning with the 3-person scramble and the potato shoot, the fstival promises fun for the whole family and entertainment including Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady.
This year's Dogwood Days Festival is sure to be extra special.

May 14 the festival will celebrate its Silver Anniversary; the 25th year organizations and individuals go to work to put on a first class community celebration.

"Lots of people look forward to Dogwood Days," said Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Nancy Houdek. "Last year, we had one of the biggest festivals in years and we are hoping for a good turnout again this year."

The first rule of Dogwood Days appears to be: Arrive hungry.

While Dogwood Days actually begins at 10 a.m., festival fans can get an early start with breakfast in the lobby of the Hillhigh Resort starting at 7 a.m.

The Gourmet Table and Sweet B's are other breakfast options for early arrivers.

There should be plenty of food to hold you over until 10 a.m., when the Food Court opens, offering 12 different vendors with all kinds of sandwiches and dinners, hotdogs to BBQ to beans and cornbread to Cajun.

Of course, there will also be plenty of sweet treats like ice cream, snow cones, kettle corn and funnel cakes.

You will need the nourishment to keep up with more than 90 events, exhibits and performances offered throughout the day.

The Gazebo is the place to go for live entertainment, beginning with the Pet Pageant at 10 a.m.

It will be followed by square dancing by The Horseshoe Benders, Danny the Clown from Branson, local singer Joe Beavers and, at 2 p.m., Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady.

Eady, who has appeared on many national television shows, will bring along her wooden buddies to entertain with ventriloquism and singing.

"She is great. I saw her perform at the Governor's Conference on Tourism and chased her down, right then, to get her to come to our festival," said Tina Barnes, who co-chairs the festival with Patti Wolff.

The world famous Potato Shoot competition begins at 10 a.m. in the field south of FNBC Bank.

A three person golf scramble at Turkey Mountain Golf Course starts at 9 a.m., and kids can get their exercise at all kinds of races, relays and games at the Kid's Village.

Two bounce houses and, for the first time, a rock climbing wall will be among the attractions.

For adults, 10 vendors will be displaying products at the Lawn and Garden show.

A new event, The Literary Corner, will feature seven Arkansas authors selling and autographing their books.

"We started the Literary Corner with one local author and now have eight," said Barnes. "I didn't realize how many authors we have in the area."

At 3 p.m., Alyse Eady will move over to the Horseshoe Bend Theater to help judge the Men's Beauty Pageant, always a fun, if not beautiful, event.

What's Nancy Houdek's favorite Dogwood Days activity?

"I spend most of my time at the Boat and Fishing Club Booth, because I'm in charge of the bake sale," Houdek replied.

She added "It's a good day for visiting," as she sees lots of old friends throughout the day.

Dogwood Days will wrap up with a Hog Roast Supper and Street Dance, from 5 to 8 p.m.

"My husband (Horseshoe Bend Mayor Bob Barnes) always cooks a hog in the ground," said Barnes. "We prepare enough food to serve 200 and always sell out, so this is always a popular event.

Dinner will be just $5, a fundraiser for the Horseshoe Bend Area Chamber of Commerce.

The David Sherrell Band will provide the music.

Dogwood Days, which is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, takes place in downtown Horseshoe Bend.

"We spent a lot of time, last year, working to improve the festival and got a great response from the public," said Barnes.

"We have tried to do the same this year, offering a variety of events, old and new, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy."

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