October 24, 2007 Edition

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Iron Mountain Festival is Saturday

Gretchen Hunt

On Saturday, downtown Walnut Ridge will once again be transformed into the annual Iron Mountain Festival.

Two stages, "The Engine" and "The Caboose," will offer entertainment throughout the day, and there will be a variety of activities for children and adults to enjoy.

Karen Williams, chair of the Chamber of Commerce Activities Committee, has overseen the preparations for this year's festival.

"We really hope everyone will come out and support the sponsors and the vendors who are making this festival possible," she said. "People have put a lot of work into getting ready for this event."

Kickoff ceremony set for 9:30 a.m.

The day will kick off with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., following the 9 a.m. start of the Walk of Hope being held in conjunction with the festival.

Williams said a group of survivors will walk to the stage at 9:30 to cut the ribbon and officially open the festival. There will be a couple of survivor speeches, as well.

During the opening ceremonies of the festival, the 875th Engineering Battalion and the 39th Infantry Brigade will also be honored. Members of the local unit, which is part of the 39th, will present the colors, and Darlene Moore will sing the National Anthem.

Many events planned

Events planned include a show and shine car show, a hot dog eating contest at noon, a dog costume contest, a bicycle rodeo and a re-enactment by the Lawrence County Historical Society.

There will be train rides and games for the kids, as well as the Arkansas Game and Fish Aquarium, Little Rock Zoo Animals, pony rides, a moon walk and rock wall climbing.

Craft, food and informational booths will be set up. Those attending should visit the Chamber of Commerce booth to register for door prizes.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Mobile Air Rifle Shooting Range will also be at the festival.

Live entertainment throughout the day will include dance groups, cloggers, martial arts demonstrations and vocalists. Ben Brand and One Lane Highway and JR Rogers and the All Star Band are scheduled to perform.

A Miss Iron Mountain contest is also being held to benefit the 4-H Foundation and the Children's Shelter (see related story). Winners will be announced during the festival.

At 5 p.m. a Halloween costume contest will be held. Those interested can contact Sonic for registration information.

At sunset, a double-feature outdoor movie presentation will be held featuring the movies "Cars" and "Hocus Pocus."

Weather expected to cooperate

The festival will come at the end of a rainy week, according to weather forecasters, but Saturday's weather should be perfect for a fall festival if the forecast holds true.

"The rain is predicted to end by Friday," Williams said. "Saturday is supposed to be a pretty day with the high back in the mid 60s. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy the day with us."

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