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Smithville planning for chicken pie festival

SMITHVILLE -- The Smithville Recreation Club here has begun final preparations for the Lee County community's annual Chicken Pie Festival and its Miss Smithville Blue Jean Pageant.

The pageant, which has categories for girls from ages newborn to 18, will be held Oct. 22 starting at 2 p.m. at the downtown gazebo. The Chicken Pie Festival kicks off the following Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day.

"This is the fourth year that the (Smithville Recreation Club) has planned the festival," pageant co-coordinator Carol Gosa said. "It's gotten bigger each year. We had more than 3,000 attend last year, and we're doing everything we can to make this year's festival even bigger.

"There was another group that planned the festival for about 13 years, but their planning committee dwindled down to two, and it's too much for two people. The community went without a festival for a year, but there were so many complaints that our group took up four years ago where the other had left off."

The Miss Smithville Blue Jean pageant includes seven divisions from Baby Miss Smithville Blue Jean to Miss Smithville Blue Jean. The winner in each division will ride in the following week's Chicken Pie Festival Parade.

"This is not one of those pageants where the girls wear fancy dresses and makeup," Gosa said. "In fact, girls under age 13 cannot wear makeup. We just want the girls to have fun and wear age-appropriate outfits."

The pie festival will kick off at 7:30 a.m. with sanctioned 5K, 10.2K and mile runs through the community. The annual parade, led by the "Festival Chicken," begins at 10 a.m.

The Recreation Club will start selling chicken pie plates at 11 a.m., at which time judging for a chicken pie contest will begin.

Also planned are kids activities, arts and crafts booths and animal adoptions through humane societies.

Money raised at the festival are used for community Fourth of July, Christmas and Easter projects.

For more information, contact Recreation Club president Thomas Jackson at (229) 846-5584; Joy Sanders at (229) 869-0064 or at sanders9716@bellsouth.net; Bobby or Betsy Usry at (229) 874-1426, or Gosa at (229) 942-2860 or gosacarol@yahoo.com.