Dozens of volunteers are working hard to make this year’s festival another success
Dozens of committee members, volunteers, demonstrators, musicians, vendors and competitors are working today to make the 58th celebration of Hootin an Hollarin another success. This year’s event is focused on the theme “Fun from the Old School.”
Wednesday afternoon brings Lions Club members and other volunteers to the square to assemble the bleachers, stage and square dance platforms ahead of the festival’s Thursday-evening kickoff, which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a welcome by Gainesville Mayor Gail Reich. That opening is followed by a couple of hours are down-home music by Modern August and the Kattie Laney Project before the annual queen pageant, set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
These 17 high school-age girls are vying for the 2018 title:
Cheyanne Clinton, daughter of Kristie Ashmead, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by the Antler. Jaima DeVries, daughter of Amanda Merriman, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Shelter Insurance. Ruthanne Doebler, daughter of Tammy and Nelson Doebler, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Molly Collins at Curl Up and Dye at Molly’s Salon. Star Janes, daughter of Daniel and Sunshine Janes, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Top Dog Fitness. Sarah Jennings, daughter of Lynn and Tracy Jennings, is home-schooled and is sponsored by The R.O.C.K Youth Ministries. Gracie Johnston, daughter of Michelle Sharp and Brandon Johnston, lives in Bakersfield and attends Mountain Home (Arkansas) High School. She is sponsored by Michelle Sharp. Jessee Latham, daughter of Carol and Jon Latham, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Latham Diesel and ATV Seat Recovering. Kayla Lee, daughter of James and Kristi Newman is home-schooled and is sponsored by Town & Country Supermarket. Abby Mahan, daughter of David and Robin Mahan, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Karen Cunningham at Curl Up and Dye at Molly’s. Haley Mack, daughter of Sheila Mack and Chuck Goodrich, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Crawford Farms. Hunter McCullough, daughter of Mike McCullough, attends Lutie High School and is sponsored by Nolan’s Point Resort in Ocie. Branetta McNece, daughter of Johnnie and Alta Schofield, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Dependable Painters – Greg and Linda Nasif. Kaitlyn Morse, daughter of Bill and Tanya Morse, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Nichole’s Styling Salon. Elizabeth Pansano, daughter of Melissa and Michael Pansano, attends Lutie High School and is sponsored by Thornfield House of Prayer. Lily Parker, daughter of Hank and Cindy Parker, is home-schooled and is sponsored by The R.O.C.K. Youth Ministries. Hannah See, daughter of Eric and Chelsea See, attends Bakersfield High School and is sponsored by Foster Feed. A’aisha Sykes, daughter of Yolanda Flanagan, attends Gainesville High School and is sponsored by Century Bank of the Ozarks.
Pageant program points
Attorney and associate judge-elect Ray Gross will again serve as pageant emcee. Judges will be KY3 meterologist Brandon Beck of Springfield; 1985 Hootin an Hollarin queen Jolene McFarland Cunningham of Ozark; Steward Brunner, general manager of KPFM, KKTZ and KOMT radio stations in Mountain Home, Arkansas; Hootin an Hollarin’s first Miss Sweetie Pie, Mickey Smith Van Ness of Rogersville; and Rod Hamby, founding member of The Overland Group, with offices in West Plains and in Birmingham, Alabama, which has developed 800 retail projects since 2009.
While the judges are deliberating, the Barney Douglas Citizens of the Year, Wayne and Doris Sayles, will be introduced, along with 2018 parade marshal William Walrath.
Demonstrators show the old ways
By tradition, Hootin an Hollarin celebrates the “olden ways of olden days,” and several demonstrators are scheduled to show the crafts, methods and techniques of yesteryear.
In the Century Bank parking lot, Lynn and Charlotte Taylor of Tecumseh will demonstrate making shingles and rope, and they may have some small engines on display. After making the rope, Lynn Taylor has been known to give samples to youngsters (and oldsters too) who’ve come to watch.
Butch Stone, Allen Flood, Guy Pace and others will be flint knapping – making arrowheads and perhaps other tools – in the grassy area beside the orange food truck on the southeast corner of the square.
Next to the information booth beside the main stage people old-time crafts will be demonstrated from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. From 10 a.m. to noon Friday and Saturday, Dawn Stone will demonstrate pulling cotton from bolls and carding it in preparation for spinning. At the same time Virginia McMurtrey will demonstrate how to make button necklaces. From 2 to 4 p.m. Friday and again on Saturday (Saturday hours hadn’t been set at press time) Shirley Dossett will demonstrate spinning wool.
Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday demonstrators also will be showing knitting, crocheting and hand-quilting/piecing skills.
In that same area, the “Luna sisters” – Marilyn Tilley, Shirley Sinor and Sue Cockman – will be making bread and selling hot slices spread with homemade butter.
Also, as mentioned in last week’s Times Jamie Green Kingsolver will show kids how to make their own rag dolls in a booth on the west side of the square opposite the school booths.
Check for updates
Friday and Saturday are packed full of musical performances sprinkled with old-fashioned competitions amid dozens of booths offering country cookin’, games and an arts and crafts fair. See this year’s Hootin an Hollarin magazine for the schedule (page 4) and booth map (page 59) – and also check the information booth next to the stage for updates as a few last-minute changes in the lineup of performers, vendors and events is inevitable.