Dozens of vendors, including local merchants, churches and organizations, will offer a wide variety of handmade arts and crafts, including, jewelry, handbags, lighted wine bottles, handcrafted wooden perfume holders and game boards, spun glass, western decor, Texas crafts, wind chimes, jeweled clothing, handcrafted bird feeders and nest boxes, wire sculptures, handmade bath products and metal art. You will also find commercial products such as Scentsy candles, Pampered Chef and Homemade Gourmet products. Local downtown merchants that will set up shop in the street in front of their stores include Kel’s, who will offer up grilled chicken wraps, Life’s A Beach Tanning Spa, which will have special deals on tans, All Occasions Antiques and Sassy Cakes, the newest gift shop in town, offering unique hand-embellished and embroidered clothing and accessories.
The food vendors – most will be set up in the food court area along Tapp Street -- will fill the air with the tantalizing aromas of festival favorites such as corn dogs, funnel cakes, nachos. It would be a festival in Texas without barbeque and you’ll find plenty of choices. Chili and tamales will be on the menu as well as fish and chips and a special treat from a newcomer to ChickFest offering what they call Cattle Trail Sausage, which is cooked the old-fashioned trail ride way with a barbeque pit and a Dutch oven.
The annual festival, named in honor of Pilgrim’s Pride, is expected to draw 3, 500 people for not only shopping and food, though. There will be lots of activities to fill the three days of the festival, starting with the annual ChickFest Golf Tournament. Sponsored by Cypress Bank, the golf tournament will tee off at 11 a.m. on Sept. 17 at Princedale Country Club. Organizers decided to change the start time of the tournament -- originally planned for 1 p.m. -- to accommodate players who plan to attend the ETMC Donors & Community Leaders Gala that evening. The maximum number of team for the four-person scramble is 18 and the team fee is $200. The tournament will include a hamburger supper following the tournament. Teams that want to sign up should contact Josh Cato at Cypress Bank at 903-572-9856.
On Friday, lunch and dessert are free from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., compliments of Capital One Bank and Pilgrim Bank. Close the office early and head downtown for Capital One’s traditional Hot Dog Lunch. Leave room for a frozen treat, though, because Pilgrim Bank’s Homemade Ice Cream tent will be calling your name right across the road.
The carnival turns the Pilgrim Bank parking lot into a midway at 6 p.m. Friday, lighting up the night with exhilarating rides and games until 10 p.m.
The fun starts bright and early on Saturday with the Frank Sexton Masonic Lodge breakfast from 7-9 a.m. Activities include The vendor booths and food court area, carnival and bounce houses will open for business at 8 a.m. From 8:30 – 10 a.m., registration will be held at the Pilgrim Bank Community room for the 5th annual Tommy Lee Memorial Biker Run, which will lead off the ChickFest parade and then head out on the highway, wrapping up with a concert by Crossroads at Cowboy Jim’s.
The 2009 Chicken Cook-Off will give home cooks a chance to show off their culinary chops as they create chicken heaven in five different cook-off categories: grilled/baked, casserole/entrée, soup/stew, appetizer and fried. The Cook-off will be held at Our Place at NTCC, home of the college’s Julia Truitt Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Institute. Judging starts at 9 a.m. and the winner will be announced around 11 a.m. A special Chicken Salad lunch, prepared by NTCC chefs, will be available to the public after the awards presentation. Dig into your recipe card files and register by September 14. Call Sara Barrett at 903-856-5005 to find out more.
The ChickFest parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Perry Henderson, ETMC administrator, will serve as grand marshal in honor of the hospital’s service to the community and in celebration of the opening of its new campus. The parade will feature the Pittsburg Pirate Band, majorettes and cheer squads as the reigning Chickadee and Chickadude Sidney Smith, 5 and Seth Barrett, 4. To enter a group in the parade, contact the chamber office at 903-856-3442 or John Livingston at 903-856-3911.
Following the parade, the Classic Car & Truck Display will set up at the PISD Cafetorium on Fulton Street. It will include the Texas Hemi Truck Club and hot rod muscle cars from Shelby automotive Technician Program Car Club. The club will raffle official licensed Shelby die cast cars, autographed by Carroll Shelby.
The Kids Activity Center will move to the Courthouse Annex lawn this year and will feature a special woodcraft workshop led by Home Depot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The First Baptist Church Pittsburg children’s’ ministry and 4-H of Camp County are taking the lead in organizing the other activities, which include “Chick Pics,” a free picture with the Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken mascot from 12 – 1 p.m., the duck pond game, rubber chicken toss, an egg race and egg toss contest.
All eyes turn to the Courthouse lawn stage at 11 a.m. for performances from the PHS majorettes and cheerleaders and the 2009 Chickadee and Chickadude contest. To enter, contact Holly McGraw at Pittsburg Floral & Weddings at 903-856-7779.
The live Christian music – a tradition that began in 2007 – will begin at noon and continue until 4 p.m. with youth and adult groups and bands from local and area churches, First Baptist Church Pittsburg, and solo performances from Natalie Cummings and Kim Brown.
The Pittsburg Hot Links Eating Contest will feature two heats this year at 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. To sign up, contact Sonya Barker at 903-767-0808. Also, don’t miss the Scouts Cub Mobile Races at 10:30 a.m., Identi-Kid from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Lion’s Club Chicken Scratch Bingo at 12 p.m., and free museum tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Look for the ChickFest Guide at the Chamber of Commerce booth, which will include the schedule of events and a map of the festival area. For more information, contact Lynda Stringer at the Camp County Chamber of Commerce at 903-856-3442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.