Flywheel Festival seeks vendors

This steam traction engine was manufactured by Keck-Gonnerman in the 1920's. This is the only operating steam tractor in the State of Mississippi today. It is on permanent display in the Joe Brigance Park in Houston and the centerpiece of the bi-annual Flywheel Festival. (Photo by Floyd Ingram)

This steam traction engine was manufactured by Keck-Gonnerman in the 1920′s. This is the only operating steam tractor in the State of Mississippi today. It is on permanent display in the Joe Brigance Park in Houston and the centerpiece of the bi-annual Flywheel Festival.
(Photo by Floyd Ingram)

HOUSTON – Record crowds at the spring Houston Flywheel Festival last year have event organizers hoping for a strong showing this year.

The spring show saw over 4,000 people pack Joe Brigance Park for two days of food, fun and entertainment and the call has gone out this week seeking vendors for the 33rd biannual event.

“We have started taking applications for vendor space and want people to contact us, call or just come by,” said Joyce East, CDF executive director and vendor coordinator for the Houston Flywheel Festival. “The spring show always brings a lot of people to town. We just ask vendors contact us as soon as possible and reserve a space.”

The 33nd Annual Mississippi Valley Flywheel Association Spring Flywheel Festival will be April 25-26 and offers everything from a 5K run and arts and crafts to a tractor pull and hominy cooking. And it’s all free and open to the public.

Vendors can get a 12-by-12 booth for $30 per day. Booths needing electrical hookups are an extra $5 per day for 110-volt and $10 for 220-volt.

“We had a lot of churches, civic clubs, schools and sports boosters at the festival last year and they did well,” said East. “We are glad to give people the same location year after year, but we do allocate space on a first-come, first-serve basis.”

East said vendors can show up for both days or just reserve booth space for Saturday.

The weekend starts Friday with tractors, food vendors and arts and crafts booth open for business and viewing. The first Anvil Shoot – where festival organizers blow a 75-pound anvil into the air with gunpowder – is at 11 a.m.

Live entertainment starts at 5 p.m., and the Houston Football Booster fish fry fundraiser wraps up about 7 p.m.

Saturday dawns with the opening ceremony at 8 a.m., and the Pink Ribbon 5K run gets started immediately afterwards. The Parade of Power through downtown Houston is at 9 a.m.

The tractor pull starts at 12:30 p.m.

And in addition to all this there will be a working grist mill, hominy cooking, cracklin’ cooking, lard rendering, lye soap making and other Ole Timer demonstrations.

There will also be a skillet toss for the ladies and a piston toss for the guys. Prizes will be offered for the longest throw in each event.

For more information about the 33nd Annual Mississippi Valley Flywheel Fall Festival contact the Chickasaw Development Foundation at 456-2321.

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