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Ole Brook Festival deemed a success

Nice weather, great vendors, live entertainment and plenty offood made for a successful 32nd Ole Brook Festival Saturday, saidchamber officials.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said the turnout and overall climate ofthe festival was “fantastic.”

“It’s one of our biggest crowds in years,” Brumfield said.

He credited perfect weather for the success of this year’sevent. Although a bit on the warm side, the weather was pictureperfect for this year’s festival, unlike the previous year, whenominous weather interrupted the festivities.

Chamber President Rita Rich attributed the festival success toJeff Doremus and the festival committee, along with the staff ofthe Chamber of Commerce, for doing an outstanding job.

“Special thanks to them and everyone that attended andvolunteered,” Rich said.

She commented that the Ole Brook Festival would not happen eachyear without faithful volunteers and good weather.

“I’m so thankful the weather was fine,” she said.

One of the most anticipated events of this year’s festival wasthe floating of the ducks.

The King’s Daughters Medical Center Foundation Duck Derby washeld in conjunction with this year’s festival. This year’s winnerwas Susan Ratliff, of Brookhaven, who received the grand prize of a2006 Ford Focus, courtesy of Sullivan Ford-Lincoln-Mercury.

Second place and the winner of $2,500 was Patrick Jennings, ofJayess; and third place and the winner of $1,000 was Ann Price, ofBogue Chitto.

The winner of The “Dilly Dally” Award, for the last duck tocross the finish line, was April Locke, of Brookhaven. She receiveda 12-month family membership to KDMC Fitness Center.

JoAnna Sproles, KDMC Foundation director, said approximately5,000 ducks were sold this year, which was just under last year’stotal of 5,300 ducks. She said sales of ducks were a bit slower inthe beginning, but added they picked up at the festival booth wherefestival-goers had the opportunity to purchase ducks, as well.

“We’ve had a really great day and really great support,” saidSproles, “We’re going to use the money raised to do great thingsfor the hospital.”

Money raised each year through the Duck Derby will go to fundfoundation projects at KDMC.

Aside from the Duck Derby and festival booths, entertainment andchildren’s activities were also popular attractions.

Entertainment was a sought-after venue in the north railroadparking lot. Many acts from the local area, as well as from out oftown, came to compete in a preliminary to the Mid-South Fair TalentContest.

Sabrina Griffith, 20, of Bogue Chitto, walked away as theoverall winner. She competed in the Country Division of the talentcontest with her version of the song “Kerosene.” She will go on tocompete at the Mid-South State Fair in Memphis, Tenn., which isSept. 22 through Oct. 1. The contest is the largest amateur talentcontest in the world, said Chamber of Commerce Program Director KayBurton.

Other first place winners in the remaining four divisions wereBrandon Andrews, 17, of Summit, who won in the Christian GospelDivision and the Popular Music Division; C.C. Allgood, 20, ofRidgeland, in the Broadway Division; and in the Vocal GroupDivision, an act from Brandon consisting of Kelsey Carroll, 14,Whitney Hennigan, 16, and Jeanna Upchurch, 17, took home the firstplace prize.

A representative from Mid-South was on hand to view the 32 actsentered in the contest. She invited an additional 11 acts toparticipate in the contest in Memphis.

The festival wound up activities Saturday evening with a freeconcert, which was sponsored by the Bank of Brookhaven and featuredAllen Asbury, Russ Taff, Michael O’Brien and the BrooksBrothers.