BENTON – Warmer weather is in the forecast for the 170th Annual Tater Day, set to take off Monday, April 1st., welcome news for those eagerly awaiting the hometown event.
Vendors will be moving in this week as preparations for the annual festival begin, which brings thousands of people to the city of Benton each year.
Whether your favorite part of the event is watching the parade, sampling the various food offerings - from championship BBQ to funnel cakes, enjoying carnival rides, flea market shopping, demolition derby watching or simply the pastime of crowd spectating, Tater Day festivities offer something for everyone.
The festivities began this past weekend with the annual pageants where Leanndra Thompson was crowned Miss Tater Day 2013.
Then on Saturday March 30, the 27th Annual Tater Trot Fitness Walk & Run takes off at an all new location, Mike Miller Park in Draffenville.
Registration is from 7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., with the 5k beginning at 9 a.m. and the Run/Walk at 9:40 a.m. For more information, call Chris Kerrick at 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 typically begin setting up Wednesday and Thursday 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. Pit passes are just $5. For more information, call 970-0551 or check out www.marshallcountyaandifair.com. No alcohol will be allowed on premises.
Moving into Tater Day, Monday April 1, 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 and goes to help a great cause in the community. For more information, call 527-3153.
The Tater Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m., with this year’s theme ‘Remember our Troops’ and featuring Grand Marshal Joe Tom Haltom.
Line up will be on 5th street and the parade is set to run east on 5th to Main Street, then south on Main to City Park, North on Poplar and back to 5th. The street will be blocked at 10 a.m.
To see parking details for parade, click on the Tater Day flier on the homepage of Marshall County Daily.com
Casey’s Amusement will be open for rides Friday - Monday at HH Lovett Park. Armbands will be available Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. and are good for unlimited rides. The cost is $18.
On Saturday, tickets will only be available, no arm bands.
Unlimited ride arm bands will then be available again on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. Bring a church bulletin and get $3 off the cost of an arm band on Sunday only.
Monday – tickets only.