Barryton Homecoming Days offers fun for whole family

Children scoop up candy as the Barryton Homecoming Days parade goes by in this 2016 file photo. This year’s parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. (Pioneer file photo)

BARRYTON — A whole weekend of family fun awaits festival-goers as the annual Barryton Homecoming Days begins on Friday afternoon.

The festival, which has been a community fixture for more than 50 years, is a tradition, said Katie Bazaire, president of the Homecoming Days committee.

“A lot of people who moved away come back for the celebration,” she said. “This year, we’re focusing on the truck pull — this is the 10th anniversary of the truck pull.”

While organizers don’t do a formal count of attendees, Bazaire estimates 500 people or more visit Barryton during the three-day event. Most events are free to spectators, she added. Patrons of the chicken barbecue are charged for their meal, and participants in the pulling contests, poker run and softball tournament pay an entry fee related to the event.

“We don’t have a cover charge. We don’t charge to get into the tractor or truck pulls and we don’t charge a fee for dancing,” Bazaire said. “The kids games are free, too.”

Homecoming Days begins with the flea market and craft show at 4 p.m. Friday. Also on Friday are the parade of pulling trucks at 6:30 p.m., the truck pull at 7 p.m. and dancing to live music provided by Guinness Brothers from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Saturday’s events begin bright and early with the opening of the flea market at 8 a.m. The softball tournament begins at 9 a.m. and the parade from the bank to the fairgrounds begins at 11 a.m. Also at 11 a.m. are the chicken barbecue, tractor pull and kids games.

Immediately after the parade, the children’s foam hunt begins.

“We do a foam treasure hunt, where we have a roped-off, cemented area the fire department fills with foam,” Bazaire said. “We hide prizes in it, and the kids come in their swimming suits or whatever and get in the foam to try and find the prizes. We try to do everything for the kids for free, and we try to do quite a lot for them on Saturday after the parade.”

Eddie B’s Disc Jockey Service begins playing music at noon, which also is when the car show begins. New to the festival this year, the car show will take place from noon to 5 p.m. The horseshoe contest is at 1 p.m. and the poker run begins at 2 p.m. At 9 p.m., Guinness Brothers returns to the stage to play for the crowd until 1 a.m.

On Sunday, the flea market and craft show again begin at 8 a.m., and the co-ed softball tournament kicks off at 9 p.m. The Barryton Ministry Church Service takes place at 10 a.m. in the pavilion and a double horseshoe pitch tournament begins at noon. Sign-up for the kids pedal pull also begins at noon, with the pull at 1 p.m.

“We have little pedal tractors and a few year ago, we made a sled,” Bazaire said. “They pedal the tractors and pull the sled just like the big tractor pull.”

Alumni will gather in the Barryton Elementary gym at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with the euchre tournament beginning at 2 p.m.

“It’s just a good family-oriented celebration,” Bazaire said. “We have stuff for kids, stuff for adults and a lot of different events which should pretty much cover whatever people like, whether they’re into watching softball or tractor and truck pulls or listening to live music.”

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Posted by Candy Allan

Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.

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