The festival season continues today for county residents as the Clay County Popcorn Festival officially kicks off.
Representatives from Luehrs' Ideal Rides have been busy the past few days setting up the carnival at Forest Park. The carnival officially opens today at 5 p.m. The carnival also opens at 5 p.m., Friday, while it will close at 10 p.m. each day.
On Saturday and Sunday, the carnival will open at noon.
Several festival events are set for Friday, including a spaghetti dinner at 4 p.m., and performances by the Jackson Township Community Band (6 p.m.), and the Terry Lee and Rock-A-Boogie Band (7:30 p.m.).
In addition, craft and food vendors will be in full-swing Friday beginning at 4 p.m., while the Popcorn House will also be open, including the 'Reddie' to Wear Gift Shop and the Conagra Snack Foods tent.
The National Guard will also provide giveaways beginning at 5 p.m.
On Saturday, a softball tournament is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., while the Walk America Walk will take place at 8:30 a.m.
At 9 a.m., interested patrons can take their chances in an obstacle course or the Rock Wall or enjoy Farmer Ron's Amazing Field Trip.
Filming begins at 10 a.m. for the Festivals, Boardwalks and Fairs show, which will air on the Food Network in 2009. Food Network personality Sunny Anderson will be on hand to film the show.
At 10:30 a.m., a scarecrow contest will take place while the fifth annual bed race will begin at 11 a.m. Also, the Redenbacher Family memory Lane Museum will open at 11 a.m.
Other events Saturday include the Best Popcorn Recipe contest (11 a.m.), Vent to the world (ventriloquist, noon and 12:30 p.m.), motorcycle ride-in (1 p.m.), antique tractor parade and display (1 p.m.), popcorn eating contest (1:30 p.m.), and a Jonah Fish Fry (4-8 p.m.).
The Orville Redenbacher Look-a-Like contest is set to begin at 5 p.m., while Saturday entertainment will be provided by Philpot (5:30 p.m.), and Blue Moon Swamp (7:30 p.m.). Aerial Arts Fireworks will also put on a display at approximately 9:15 p.m., Saturday, following Blue Moon Swamp's performance.
The rock wall climb and obstacle course will be set up again at 11 a.m., Sunday, while a marinated grilled pork dinner is scheduled for noon.
At 3 p.m., the Seven Bridges Band will perform and the festival will conclude Sunday with the $250 drawing at 5 p.m.