BENTON - The sights, sounds and smells of Benton’s 169th Annual Tater Day festival are right around the corner as vendor trailers have already begun claiming space in the city.
Each year thousands of people travel to Benton during the week of Tater Day to enjoy championship BBQ cookin’, festival rides, parade - and of course, the demolition derby, among others.
Tater Day events take off this coming Saturday, March 24, with the Little Mr. & Miss Tater Day Pageant beginning at 11 a.m. at Benton Middle School. For more information, call 527-9624.
The pageant will be followed by the Miss Tater Day Pageant beginning at 2 p.m. at the same location. For more information, call 703-3086.
Then on Friday March 30, help the Benton Kiwanis Club kick off their annual BBQ Cookoff celebration with a concert featuring local favorite the Tony Logue Band at 7 p.m. The concert will take place at the site of the BBQ cookoff on Poplar Street, next to the city's water plant.
On Saturday, March 31, join CFSB for the 27th Annual Tater Trot Fitness Walk & Run at the CFSB location on Main Street.
Registration is from 7:45 a.m. - 8 a.m., with the 5k beginning at 9 a.m. and the Run/Walk at 9:40 a.m. For more information, call 527-1453.
After you’ve had your exercise for the day, head on over to the annual Kiwanis sanctioned BBQ cookoff championship where you can taste some of the best BBQ in the nation.
Teams usually begin setting up Wednesday and Thursday prior to the event and will be ready to serve to the public by noon on Friday.
Judging in each of the four categories, pork, chicken, brisket and ribs, will take place once every 30 minutes on Saturday, March 31, beginning at 11 a.m. The awards ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. For more information, call 527-1877.
If you still haven’t gotten your fill of Tater Day festivities by that time, head on over to the demolition derby at HH Lovett Park in Benton beginning at 5 p.m. Admission is just $10, with ages 6 and under free. For more information, call 970-0551.
Moving into Tater Day, start the morning out right with a breakfast of champions at the annual Benton Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast, held at Benton Elementary School, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cost is just $4 per person. For more information, call 527-3153.
The grand finale will be held on Monday, April 2, with the Tater Day Parade beginning at 11 a.m.
This year’s theme is ‘Support Our Troops,’ with Marshall County Judge-Executive Mike Miller serving as Grand Marshal in the parade.
Casey’s Amusement will be open for rides Friday - Monday at HH Lovett Park.