November 1, 2006 Edition

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Weather cooperates for fun festival

After a spell of rainy weather, the sun appeared Saturday and warmed temperatures in time for the Iron Mountain Festival in downtown Walnut Ridge. Canine Patrolman Tommy Allen of the Walnut Ridge Police Department fingerprints Abby Melton, while Abby's mother, Janet Schuchman, watches. The WRPD, one of many festival participants, offered fingerprinting, coloring books and a boys and girls bicycle give-away. Attractions were offered throughout the day and after dark, and organizers were very pleased with the event.
TD Photo ~ John Bland
John Bland

As the sun warmed the day, Saturday's crowd increased at the Iron Mountain Festival in downtown Walnut Ridge. "I thought it was absolutely wonderful," said Karen Williams, festival chairperson.

"We had a good turnout," she said, adding that 3,000 to 4,000 were estimated to be in attendance.

"The festival is about having fun and trying to build some community involvement and spirit, so that we can be known as a community that works together and does things," Williams said.

Kathy Bradley, administrative assistant for the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and Ted Moskal, Chamber executive director, were also pleased with the event. "We thought it went real well with more vendors than last year," said Bradley. "A lot of people stayed for the movie "Casper" ~ more than last year." During the movie, Sonic sold refreshments to benefit CASA.

"All in all, it went great, and all comments have been positive," Bradley added.

Besides Williams, the festival committee included: Lorra Whitmire, Tammy Franks, Roger Duckworth, Sherry Burnside, Ted Moskal, Kathy Bradley, Bill Wilcoxson, Michael Lawhon and Mike Montgomery. Several Chamber board members also volunteered their time in the Chamber's central information booth.

The festival included approximately 50 arts, crafts, food and information booths, kids games, train rides, contests, musical entertainment and a car show.

Several of the festival events raised money for good causes. A Poker Run benefited Area 1 Special Olympics. Allied Tang Soo Do Cardio Kickboxing Studio in Walnut Ridge performed a martial arts demonstration and board break, which raised $625 for the Lawrence County Food Bank. They also collected canned goods for the Food Bank as did 4-H members who offered pony rides.

Haunted house raises $1,070

First National Bank's haunted house, co-sponsored by Pratt's Auto Salvage, raised $1,070 for Arkansas Children's Hospital. Lorra Whitmire said that 535 people went through the haunted house, which was located for the second year in the former Cole Furniture building.

Whitmire said 70 volunteers worked inside the haunted house and had as much fun as the visitors. Other groups helping with the project were: Creative Touch Photography, Bryan Funeral Home, Circle of Friends, Hoxie Beta Club, WRHS Key Club, Incognito Window Tint, Taylor's Greenhouse, Frank's Body Shop, Barton's and the Walnut Ridge and Hoxie fire departments.

"First National Bank wants to thank everyone who helped," Whitmire said.

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