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Dairy Festival Udderances Announces Preparations for June: Hot Air Balloons, Parade, Queen Candidates

The Hopkins County Dairy Festival Board of Directors is beginning preparations for the 2018 Dairy Festival!  We have already received lots of inquiries from interested participants – for the parade, the balloons, and of course, from candidates for the Coronation Pageant.    The Festival dates are June 8 – June 16.  This year’s theme is: “Party ‘Til The Cows Come Home!”.  Our Board President, Carolyn McKinney, will host the opening ceremony on Friday, June 8 at 12:00 noon at Celebration Plaza (downtown square).

The first flight of the Hot Air Balloons will be from the grounds of Shannon Oaks Church, from 6:00 am – 9:00 am on Friday, June 8.   David and Pam Black, (at [email protected]), are the chairs for all  Hot Air Balloon activities the first weekend of Dairy Festival. The balloons (as we fondly call them: The Dairy-Aires) will be flying Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9 at dawn and at dusk, (weather permitting).    This year we have 30 balloons planning to participate!  Come see those gorgeous balloons and be part of the fun!  All Balloon activities are free and open to the public; as are all Festival activities (except for the Queen Coronation Pageant).  The Queen contestants sell tickets to the Pageant as part of their community activities; so please buy tickets from our contestants.

Where else but in Hopkins County could you see young ladies riding on handmade floats, along with little kids riding on their creative and clever mini-floats?  And, the candidates will be milking real cows later that day, and so will their parents.    Then that same day you can view hot air balloons at dawn and dusk.  Our annual carnival will be during the second week, June 13- June 16.  Please visit our website: and click on schedule of events.

And get your creative juices flowing as to how your float for the Parade will represent our theme this year:  “Party ‘Til The Cows Come Home!”.    Just think celebration parties of all kinds. Any organization, commercial enterprise, or community group is welcome to enter a decorated float. Our fabulous and famous Parade, with our reigning Queen, Miss Jaci Reed, atop her regal float, leaves Buford Park on Saturday, June 9 at 10:00 am.

If you want your “Little Kid” (boys and girls, ages 3 – 6) to be a part of the Parade and Pageant, please contact Sheilah Hale at [email protected] (817-228-8998).

For Parade information and registration contact David Watson: [email protected]  (903. 439.5020) or register through the website: .

Any young lady who is a Junior in a Hopkins County school may apply for consideration to be a candidate in this year’s Festival.  If interested, please contact Cindy Lancaster at [email protected] (903-439-5336) or Gena Prickette at [email protected] (903-243-4534) for information.  Only 12 places are available for contestants to compete in the Coronation Pageant.  The 2018 Coronation Pageant is on Saturday, June 16 at 7:00 pm at the Sulphur Springs High School Auditorium.

The Parents’ and Candidates’ Reception will be on Monday, April 2th, 2018 at 6:00 pm at the Southwest Dairy Museum.  This will be an opportunity for potential contestants and their parents to learn about the activities and responsibilities of being a candidate for the title of Dairy Festival Queen 2018 and to ask questions of the Board of Directors.   We have many talented and experienced board members who can help any potential candidate develop a talent presentation for the pageant.

The entire Festival experience is the chance of a lifetime for young ladies.  Former contestants have remarked over the years how rewarding it was having participated in Dairy Festival.  It is lots of good hard work as they build their float, fun bonding with family and friends, and lots of laughter!  They get to help crew the balloons, and might even get a ride! Candidates will learn interview skills, stage walking and correct posture, how to take a talent presentation from ‘okay’ to great; and gain confidence in public speaking and conveying their goals and accomplishments to adults.  And, most importantly, contestants and their parents learn how to milk a real cow!

The Hopkins County Dairy Festival is a tradition of 59 years and includes Hot Air Balloons, a huge Parade, a milking contest, the Jr. Dairy Show, a carnival, and the Coronation Pageant.  We also have the Texas Championship Ice Cream Freeze Off to be held Saturday, June 9, at 5:30 pm at Shannon Oaks Church, sponsored by the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce. These are all much- looked- forward- to and not- to- be- missed annual County events, so mark your calendars now!!   We’ll see you there!  So, let’s have a party!

Author: Staff Reporter

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