July 1, 2009 Edition

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James Johnson, co-owner of Johnson's Amusement Company, prepares a ride for the annual Portia Picnic, which began Tuesday and will continue through Saturday.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Annual picnic underway in Portia

The 104th annual Portia Picnic began Tuesday and will continue through Saturday with a carnival, pageants, political speaking and live entertainment.

The carnival opened Tuesday night with an armband night. Additional armband nights are set for Thursday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to close. Armbands are $18 at the gate or $15 in advance and are available at the Portia City Hall through Friday or Walnut Ridge City Hall through Thursday.

Those purchasing armbands at the Walnut Ridge City Hall need to have correct change or will need to write a check.

Johnson's Amusement Company is providing the midway, which includes 14 rides, as well as several games and concessions. He said four of the rides would be more suitable for teenagers or young adults, while another four would be suitable for children and/or adults and six are designed more for children.

"We have something for everyone from preschool to grandmas and grandpas," James Johnson, co-owner of Johnson's Amusement Company, said.

Tonight is church night for the carnival, and youth groups bringing a letter identifying their group and the church they represent will receive a bonus pack of tickets with free tickets based on the number of tickets purchased.

A wrestling event will be held Thursday night at the tennis courts, near the pavilion.

The annual beauty pageant will be held Friday at 6 p.m. Registration will be from 5-5:45 p.m. the day of the pageant, or contestants may pre-register by mailing in an entry form.

Friday is family night for the carnival. Families will be able to purchase a bonus pack of tickets with free tickets based on the number of tickets purchased.

Saturday's events will begin with a political speaking from 2-4 p.m. at the pavilion. Congressman Marion Berry and Sen. Blanche Lincoln have confirmed that they will be attending. Many local politicians are expected, as well.

The midway will also be open from 2-4 for a kid's day with armbands available at the gate for $15.

The baby show will follow the political speaking with registration from 2-4 p.m. at the pavilion. Live entertainment will follow the baby show, featuring The Whitmire Family and the Bottom of the Barrel Boys.

There is no admission to enter the picnic grounds, which are located at the historic Portia Schoolhouse.

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