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Mayfest ’24 this Saturday

News Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again. Thousands of Atmore residents — reinforced by visitors from the surrounding area and beyond — will gather Saturday at Tom Byrne Park to celebrate Spring and enjoy each other’s company at the annual Mayfest festival.
Officials of the event’s sponsor, Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce (AACC), report that “100 or more” vendors will be on hand for this year’s outdoor community party, which officially starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 3:30 p.m.
Those vendors will be selling a wide variety of items, from “carnival” and “non-carnival” food and drinks, to handcrafted jewelry, wood carvings and other items. There is usually a wide selection of arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing and a diverse menu of other items for sale, and several churches and other organizations offer homemade baked goods, candy, popcorn and other goodies as fundraisers.
Mayfest has grown to rival the community’s other major event, Williams Station Day, as far as its drawing power and popularity.
“It’s gotten pretty big,” said AACC’s Savannah Spence, who noted that organizers are anticipating a crowd of around 5,000. “This year, we’ve got the food vendors who are usually here, and we’ve got some different ones. We have a good bit of new vendors this year, as a whole.”
While Alabama weather can change at a moment’s notice, long-range forecasts call for temperatures to challenge the 90-degree mark on Saturday, with a few showers possible in the morning and about a four-in-10 chance of a pop-up thunderstorm in the afternoon.
AACC Executive Director Anna Ellis will introduce the winners of Friday night’s Miss Mayfest pageant during the opening ceremonies, at which Mayor Jim Staff will also speak, and the popular Beautiful Baby Contest will begin at 10 a.m., with winners to be announced at noon.
From 11:30 a.m. until the end of the festivities, the crowd will be entertained by several sources.
At that time, girls of varying ages from Heather Leonard Dance Works will perform ballet, jazz and/or tap routines until noon, when the pageant winners will be introduced.
Singer-songwriter Jason Crysell will perform from 12:15 until 1:45; the young baton-spinners of Limitless Twirlers of Lower Alabama will execute their routines from 1:45 until 2:30, and Kris Stewart Entertainment will provide recorded music to round out the day.
There is no admission charge to attend the festival.
6 a.m. Set-up / check-in begins for vendors
8 a.m. All vehicles must be removed from interior of park (city locks gate)
8 a.m. Softball games begin
9 a.m. Opening Ceremonies
Speakers: Anna Ellis, Mayor Jim Staff
National Anthem: Carley Hetrick Dempsey
Flag Raising: Atmore First Assembly Royal Rangers
Prayer: Chris McGhee
8:50 a.m. Miss Mayfest winners meet at gazebo
Miss. Mayfest Winners presented by Anna Ellis
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Beautiful Baby Contest
9:15 a.m. Beautiful Baby Contestants MUST be checked-in
9:30 a.m. Beautiful Baby Contestants begin line-up
12 p.m. Beautiful Baby Contest winners announced
11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Heather Leonard Dance Works
12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Jason Crysell
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Limitless Twirlers of Lower Alabama
2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Kris Stewart Entertainment