GRAVETTE -- "Making Memories" was the theme for Gravette Day 2019, and local photographer Steve Huckriede was chosen as the parade's grand marshal since he has recorded many memories of area events with his camera the last few years. Huckriede rode in a vehicle driven by 2010 parade grand marshal Ron Teasley and waved to hundreds of spectators along the parade route.
The day was quite hot and muggy, with temperatures reaching 94 degrees during the day, but many folks came out to enjoy the activities planned for the celebration. The day began with the annual Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast and many diners enjoyed the breakfast of pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee. Tim Puryear and his wife Becky, of Bentonville, brought along their three-month-old kangaroo, Tammy, who attracted much attention from animal lovers, young and old, who wanted to pet her soft fur. Jackie Lambert won the Razorback theme quilt made by Betty Howard and raffled to help fund Kiwanis service projects.
The Gravette Day 5K run/walk kicked off at 8 a.m. with about 120 runners and walkers completing the course. Proceeds from the run/walk will be used to take youngsters shopping in the Gravette Police Department's Shop with a Cop program.
An art show, held at the Gravette civic center, also opened at 8 a.m. and featured paintings by area artists, including show sponsor Michael Kelley. Ladies from the Northwest Arkansas Beading Society displayed their beaded jewelry creations, and several craftsmen had booths offering their handmade wares.
Entrants in the seventh annual Dutch oven cookoff gathered on the grounds of the Kindley House Museum and began preparing their meals early in the day. Cooking demonstrations began at 9 a.m. and tempting aromas of wood smoke and savory dishes soon filled the air. When awards were given in the afternoon, the combined team of Reba Moore and Diana Moyer, of Barnyard Cooks, and Randall Lewis of the Backwoods Bakers won the best overall plaque. This team, from the Fayetteville area, also took first place in the bread category and first place in the dessert category. Jesse and Jane Beeks, the Pot Rasslers, from Farmington, won first place in the main dish category. Kelley Sharp and his Kell's Cook Shack team, from Farmington, won the People's Choice award with his dirty pork chops and dirty rice. Several gift baskets donated by area businesses and macrame hanging by Betsy Meek were raffled to raise funds for museum projects.
A total of 62 vehicles were entered in the car show sponsored by Imagine Before and After School Care. The event attracted vehicles old and new. Cars and trucks of many colors and sizes filled the lot that was formerly the school bus barn property, and trophies were presented in several categories.
The Gravette Lion high school football team held a scrimmage at Lion Field from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and gave area fans a glimpse at the team's key players and prospects for the upcoming season. Staff members at Glenn Duffy Elementary School and Gravette Middle School held an open house and hosted tours of their newly renovated facilities from 10 a.m. until noon. Light refreshments were served.
The Gravette Day parade was held at noon and entrants made their way down Charlotte Street, up Highway 59 to Main Street and east to Kindley Park. Ozarks Community Hospital won the award for best entry in the business category. The peewee cheerleaders float won first place in the civic organization category and a car driven by Dale Ayres with Chris Crose as his passenger won the award for the best car in the parade.
Mayor Kurt Maddox welcomed Gravette Day visitors in the park after the parade. He presented trophies to a one-week-old for the youngest person attending Gravette Day and to Barbara Weeks, 84, for the oldest person attending Gravette Day. Felicia Kotai, an exchange student from Hungary, won the trophy for the person traveling the farthest to Gravette Day.
Performances by the Gravette High School band and GHS cheerleaders kicked off afternoon events in the park. City attorney David Bailey sang the national anthem. Many folks enjoyed free slices of watermelon provided by Arvest Bank and purchased refreshments from food trucks set up in the park. A variety of vendors offered products for sale. Bottle Rocket, a group of Benton County musicians, performed on stage from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
A Kids Zone area east of the park operated all afternoon, with youngsters enjoying a climbing wall, bouncy houses and other games. A car bash on the west side of the park gave folks the opportunity to pound on an old Mercury for a couple of hours. After they did their damage, fire captain Bob Bohannon ran over the vehicle with his monster truck, and still Gravette firefighters were able to extricate the dummy inside in only a couple of minutes.
Pageants in 11 age groups began at 3:30 p.m. and continued through the afternoon and evening hours. Madelyn Obert was crowned Miss Teen Gravette and Elaina Whiting Miss Gravette 2019 at the conclusion of the pageants.
Following the crowning of Miss Gravette, celebrants moved to Main Street for the first Gravette Day Main Street After Hours. Several karaoke singers entertained the crowd, youngsters enjoyed playing volleyball, bean bag toss and other games, and chalk artists drew designs on the sidewalk in front of Henzie's Art Studio. D. Arthur Wilson and his wife Lisa hosted an open house at their Art Gone Wild Studios with tours of the gallery, a presentation on Chinese teas by Michael Pace of Bentonville and yoga demonstrations by Yoga Alliance teacher Kari Pace.
Community on 08/14/2019
Print Headline: Memories made at Gravette Day celebration