AMORY – Through live music, worship, arts and crafts, food, fun and a host of other activities, the Amory Railroad Festival is chugging into its 41st year in fine fashion. It unofficially begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 with the community heritage service at the new Frisco Park pavilion.
Local talent and ministry from Amory’s churches will join efforts for its theme, “Taking it to the Streets.” Groups scheduled to perform include a children’s choir from First Baptist Church and the Solid Rock Chorus from Forward Church, according to coordinator Tony Hooper. The message will be given by the Rev. Elbrist Mason of St. James United Methodist Church.
This year’s entertainment headliners throughout the weekend include Shameless on Thursday, Steve Azar on Friday and Wynonna on Saturday.
The main stage will again be positioned on First Avenue S, parallel to the curb and facing the park. While the new stage is complete, scheduling made it necessary to use the portable main stage again. The new stage will have local events, including cloggers, dance teams and the North Mississippi Medical Center Amory-Gilmore Health Fair.
More than 140 runners have already registered for the 5K run/walk, according to coordinator Dr. Tommy Fugett, and more than 200 entries are again expected for the car show, which is under the direction of Cecil Cantrell and Alan Boozer.
The car show will be expanded into Saturday night, with registration proceeds going to the Kiwanis Club. Another new event will be the Touch a Truck show on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“It’s a kid’s version of the car show,” said Amory Main Street Director Alyssa Benedict. “There will be various first responder trucks, as well as specialty vehicles that the kids can put their hands on.”
Returning vendors and attractions will come from as far away as New Jersey, North Carolina and Florida.
The people that come to taste the varieties of food options will have a multitude of choices.
“All but one of last year’s food court vendors will be back this year,” said committee member Harryette Gosa.
Favorite foods varieties at the festival include chicken-on-a-stick, pork skins, crawfish and shrimp, homemade pizza, catfish, hot fudge cakes, pulled pork barbecue, grilled hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, Dippin’ Dots ice cream, cheesecake-on-a-stick, roasted nuts, homemade ice cream, Philly cheese steak sandwiches, apple fritters, blooming onions, foot-long corn dogs and roasted corn on the cob.
“Anything anyone has a taste for will be there,” Gosa said.
PBJ Happee Days Shows will again fill the parking lot alongside Front Street with its carnival rides and concessions the young and young-at-heart look forward to every year. The carnival will feature a new Ferris wheel this year.
Improved lighting will also add to the safety of patrons during the evening hours.
Armbands for unlimited admission to the rides will be available for $15. The armbands will be honored on Thursday from 4 until 10 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. All other times, admission to rides will be by tickets only. Opening time on Saturday will be at 10 a.m.