Sunday, September 17, 2006


Tom Pry

Editor Emeritus

For the benefit of you out-of-towners, a brief photographic look the 2006 White County Fair, which wrapped up its run last night. It was the last one under the long-time tutelage of Buddy Phillips (Class of 54, if I remember correctly).

The show actually got off to a bad start. First, it had been decided to move the horse show to the Saturday evening preceding the Fair proper. That meant a small audience, because the equine event was poorly publicized (and poo on you, whoever the broad was from the Saddle Club who called me at home and bitched me out for mentioning that sad fact in print).

But they held the horse show and the crowd, while small, was very vocal, especially about the selection of 16-year-old Suzanne Snyder of Rose Bud as the horse show queen.

Then came Monday, the official Fair kick-off day. It rained. Boy, did it rain, as a cold front came through dumping not just a lot of water, but lightning and thunder to go with it.

Finally, fifteen minutes before retiring County Judge Bob Parish was to lead off the pack as Honorary Grand Marshal, Buddy Phillips called it off. The lightning alone would’ve been enough, said Phillips later, but there was also danger to the horses from the wet streets.

“I’ve been involved in the Fair since 1952,” said Phillips. “This is only the second time I can remember weather canceling the parade. The other time,” he muses, “was in the sixties, when the Sheriff’s office had that great 25-member Mounted Posse. Two of the Posse members, the late Tom Henderson and Wallace Bell, walked their horses the entire length of the parade, in the driving rain, just the two of them, just to say that there HAD been a parade.”

When asked if the Parade would be re-scheduled, Phillips said, “Yep. In 2007.”

By six o’clock, though, the skies had cleared, and it was time for the Fair Queen Beauty Contest. AETN/KSSN personality Chuck Dovish emceed and, when the smoke cleared, here were the winners:

(Left to right, Queen Callie Mahoney of Beebe, 1st Runner-up Anna-Marie Coats, also of Beebe, 2nd Runner-up Kristalee Spurlin of Searcy (who, incidentally, is a homeschooler).

Wonderful weather the rest of the week. Even the temperature managed to stay mostly in the 80s for the two-night rodeo, the bull-riding competition, the concerts, the demolition derby, the buildings full of exhibits, and all the stock judging.

Sorry you couldn’t be here for it. Me, I’m going to go soak my feet and try not to think of all that walking next year.


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