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Planning under way for Chicken Pie Festival

SMITHVILLE -- In the small town of Smithville, fall holds the promise of plenty of coming excitement. The end of the summer heat marks the beginning of the beloved tradition that is the annual Chicken Pie Festival.

The daylong celebration is the culmination of months of extensive planning and includes food and fun for all ages.

Sponsored by the Smithville Recreation Club, the Chicken Pie Festival is a community- and family-oriented event. But the day's activities are not limited to simply eating chicken pot pie. The festival includes both 5-k and 10-k runs on the morning of the festival, a parade, a pet parade during which participants are invited to show off their pets, arts and crafts of all varieties, and family-friendly entertainment.

There will also be food vendors and a cook-off to determine whose chicken pot pie is this year's favorite.

The weekend preceding the festival itself is also an exciting one because Oct. 23, one week prior to the Oct. 30 festival, is designated as the day of the "Blue Jean Beauty Pageant." Contestants will compete for places in the Chicken Pie Parade the following Saturday.

At 10 a.m. on the day of the festival, the chicken pie serving begins, and visitors are able to pick their favorites for the competition that is judged later in the day. Food vendors offer plates of the different chicken pot pies, assorted vegetables, and corn bread.

Proceeds from the Chicken Pie Festival have, in the past, gone to support communitywide Easter egg hunts, Christmastime bicycle giveaways, new park benches, communitywide fireworks displays and other worthy projects.

For more information about the 5-k and 10-k runs, contact Joy Sanders at (229) 869-0064 or at sanders9716@bellsouth.net; Bobby Usry at (229) 874-1426, or visit www.georgiarunner.com. For questions regarding the pageant, arts and crafts displays or food booths, contact Lori McDonough at (229) 815-0541 or Thomas Jackson at (229) 846-5584. Any questions about the parade should be directed to Carol Gosa at (229) 942-2860.