Meridian Star

September 27, 2013

Annual Clarke County Forestry and Wildlife Festival Saturday

By Ida Brown /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Saturday's forecast of sunny skies and mid-80s temperatures will be the perfect complement to the scheduled Clarke County Forestry and Wildlife Festival at Archusa Water Park in Quitman.

    Sponsored by the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce, the annual festival is actually a fund-raiser that was the brainchild of Dave Lacy, Dick Reynolds and Sonny Young.

    "They met in April 1990 to discuss and come up with a plan to overcome some problems that existed in Clarke County," said Dianne Holloman, current president of the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce.

    "The Chamber of Commerce was in financial trouble, Archusa Water Park was in very bad condition and not being utilized, and we needed to advertise Clarke County," Holloman said.

    It was determined that a festival might be the solution to all three problems.

    "It was decided to name it Forestry and Wildlife since Clarke County was noted for its forestry, and wildlife went along with forestry," she said.

    Photographs were taken of the park to show its severe conditions and a meeting was conducted with the board of directors of the Pat Harrison Waterway. An agreement was met and the Oct. 6 was the date set to hold the first festival. Proceeds from the day event go to the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce.

    Now in it's 23rd year, the Forestry and Wildlife festival is co-sponsored by numerous businesses. A festival committee works all year preparing for the community event –  which also has outside attractions.

    "We have people participating from several counties in East Mississippi and West Alabama," Holloman said.

    On tap for this year's festival are arts & crafts and food booths, 4-H Sports competition, a car and truck show, a Bass Tournament, all-day entertainment, lots of children's activities, door prizes all day, a drawing for $500 cash and more.

    The day will kickoff with Breakfast with Mickey and Friends Minnie, Woody and Cinderella at 9 a.m. at the Archusa Water Park Lodge. Although the deadline has passed for reservations, walk-ins will be available that morning depending on the number of seats available. A $5 donation for pancakes, bacon and juice plus a picture with one of the friends.

    Two super heroes will join forces for a good cause. Batman and Spiderman will pose for pictures in the Batmobile from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.  

    Another highlight of the day will be the first Porcelain Chariot Race, which will take place at 3 p.m.  

    "This is something you don't want to miss," Holloman said.

    Rounding out the day's activities will be the Miss Clarke County Pageant, which will get under way at 4 p.m. on the stage in the park.

Want to go?

What: 2013 Clarke County Forestry and Wildlife Festival

When: Saturday, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Archusa Water Park, Quitman

Admission: $1 per person

Information: Dianne Holloman at

(601) 776-6911.