Planning under way for Ole Brook, Duck Derby

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 21, 2006

The enticing smell of festival foods, the uniqueness of handmadecrafts, the impressive sounds of musical talent and the opportunityfor charitable giving will make the 32nd Ole Brook-Duck DerbyFestival the place to be in September.

This year’s downtown festival will be held on Saturday, Sept.16, and will include a variety of activities and entertainment forall ages. The festival will be a one-day arts and craft show ratherthan the traditional Friday and Saturday event.

“Because of the experience over the past five years, the vendorssetting up on Friday didn’t justify closing downtown businesses andstreets,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of CommerceProgram Director Kay Burton.

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Vendors from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas willhave items such as wooden sings, toys, pottery, foods, purses,jewelry, T-shirts, day lilies, artwork and much more.

“We are expecting a lot of vendors with wares to sell, as wellas food vendors,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce Executive Director Cliff Brumfield.

“We have a really good mix,” added Burton. “I think there issomething for everyone.”

An inflatable fun zone will be set up on Cherokee Street forchildren to enjoy. A one-time admission fee will be charged.

A free concert, sponsored by the Bank of Brookhaven, will beheld Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. Allen Asbury, Russ Taff, Michael O’Brienand the Brooks Brothers will provide the night’s entertainment.

Other entertainment to be held at the festival will be the OleBrook Festival talent contest which will be a preliminary for theMid-South Fair 2006 talent contest in Memphis, Tenn. The winnerwill automatically advance to the Mid-South Fair talent contestwhich will be held September 22-30.

“This will be the last preliminary that someone can enter beforethe fair,” Burton said. “An official will be here to issue bids forothers that would like to attend.”

The much-anticipated King’s Daughters Foundation Duck Derby willbe a very special part of the festival activities. The sixth annualDuck Derby will be held at 4 p.m. on the corner of Cherokee Streetand Railroad Avenue.

“Saturday afternoon, all numbered ducks are dumped in a cementtruck with water. The duck that comes out first wins a car,” saidBrumfield.

This year’s grand prize, provided by Sullivan Ford LincolnMercury Mazda, will be a new Ford Focus. The second place prizewinner will receive $2,500 and the third place winner will receive$1,000.

“Adoptions will be available for sale beginning mid-August atmany area retail stores, businesses, the hospital and localphysician offices,” said King’s Daughters Foundation DirectorJoAnna Sproles.

The money brought in from the fundraiser goes toward hospitalrenovations such as new paint, furnishings and art work, shesaid.

“The hospital needs to take care of patient care. The foundationfeels that the environment that you are in is key to your recoveryand healing and also for the families that have to be here dayafter day,” Sproles said. “Because of the foundation taking care ofthat, the hospital can focus on purchasing state of the artequipment to take care of patients here.”

Sproles said over the past five years the foundation has usedfunds received through the Duck Derby to establish pediatric rooms,renovate labor and delivery suites and the first floor hallway andupdated the intensive care unit waiting area.