Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val of­fers fun for all ages

Westside Eagle-Observer - - FRONT PAGE - SU­SAN HOL­LAND shol­land@nwadg.com

HI­WASSE — The weather co­op­er­ated beau­ti­fully for this year’s Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val; and a bright, sunny day greeted those who came out for the event. Ta­bles were set up un­der the trees in the area around the com­mu­nity build­ing and many stopped there to visit with friends and neigh­bors. Oth­ers con­gre­gated un­der the pav­il­ion in the park to greet fel­low class­mates from Gravette High School for an alumni lun­cheon.

Sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties were planned for the young­sters. A bouncy house was set up near the play­ground, a ring toss game was set up and some en­joyed cre­at­ing chalk art on the side­walk. Young artists en­joyed the pump­kin paint­ing booth, and mem­bers of the art club at Gravette High School as­sisted them as they com­pleted their col­or­ful cre­ations.

Ven­dors set up booths and of­fered their prod­ucts, in­clud­ing lo­cally-grown pro­duce, books by area authors, hand­made wood­crafts and other craft items. Mem­bers of the Hi­wasse Bap­tist Church and Hi­wasse Church of the Nazarene manned booths. Gravette Pub­lic Li­brary staff shared in­for­ma­tion about li­brary pro­grams, and the Gravette

Lions Club made sou­venir but­tons for fes­ti­val vis­i­tors.

Ham­burg­ers and hot dogs were grilled by em­ploy­ees of the Bank of Gravett and served with chips, drinks and Lit­tle Deb­bie sweets. Mem­bers of the Back Roads Band en­ter­tained the crowd with up­beat rock and roll tunes from the ’60s through the ’90s. The Gravette his­tor­i­cal mu­seum com­mis­sion set up a photo booth where folks could snap a mem­ory of the oc­ca­sion. The booth fea­tured a 1978 Chevy pickup used by ru­ral car­rier Bob Kel­ley to de­liver mail in Hi­wasse and Gravette for sev­eral years.

Eight chili chefs en­tered the fes­ti­val chili cookoff. Tast­ing cups were avail­able for $1 each and, af­ter tast­ing sam­ples of each dish, tasters voted for their fa­vorite. Gravette po­lice chief Chuck Sk­aggs won the cookoff with his en­try he called “My Adopted Wife.” He won a $50 cash prize, a fes­ti­val T-shirt and cof­fee mug and the right to sign his name to the cookoff chili pot trav­el­ing tro­phy. Other en­trants pre­pared pots of John Chili, CT’s Texas Chili, My First Rodeo, Wiz­ard’s Brew, Chili­li­cious, Rain­bow Chili and Devil’s Gravy.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/SU­SAN HOL­LAND

Bill Mat­tler, trea­surer, and Al Blair, pres­i­dent of the Gravette Lions Club, sit at the Lions Club booth at the Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val. Lions Club mem­bers dis­played club lit­er­a­ture and mem­ber­ship in­for­ma­tion and made sou­venir but­tons for sev­eral fes­ti­val vis­i­tors with “Hi­wasse Day 2018” and their photo on the front.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/SU­SAN HOL­LAND

Ge­orge Cowgur (right), of Hi­wasse, of­fers his tast­ing cup to be filled by the first of a line of chili cooks in the chili cookoff at the an­nual Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val. The con­test drew eight en­tries, and fes­ti­val-go­ers were able to sam­ple each pot of chili af­ter pay­ing a fee of only $1. Chuck Sk­aggs won the cookoff with his “My Adopted Wife” en­try.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/SU­SAN HOL­LAND

Larry Weihe, chair­man of the chili cookoff at the Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val, dis­plays the chili pot tro­phy won by Chuck Sk­aggs, Gravette chief of po­lice, at the an­nual fes­ti­val. Sk­aggs beat out seven other chili cooks in the com­pe­ti­tion, re­ceived a $50 cash prize, a fes­ti­val T-shirt and a cof­fee mug and then signed his name to the trav­el­ing tro­phy.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/SU­SAN HOL­LAND

Vis­i­tors to the an­nual Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val sit at ta­bles un­der the trees at the Hi­wasse park to eat and to visit with neigh­bors and friends. Oth­ers gath­ered un­der the pav­il­ion in the back­ground where sev­eral Gravette alumni met to visit with class­mates from GHS. Ham­burger and hot dog meals were pre­pared by the Bank of Gravett.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/SU­SAN HOL­LAND

Joe and Kelly Orozco, who live be­tween Gravette and Hi­wasse, pause while en­joy­ing the Hi­wasse fall fes­ti­val to pose for a sou­venir photo at the Gravette his­tor­i­cal mu­seum com­mis­sion’s photo booth. The 1978 Chevy pickup in the booth was used by ru­ral mail car­rier Bob Kel­ley to de­liver mail in the Hi­wasse area for sev­eral years.

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