Golden Sweet Potato Festival set for 37th run

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Mark your calendar for the 37th annual Sweet Potato Festival, Oct. 24-26 in Golden, the sweet potato capital of the world!

Every year, this small town festival draws crowds of family and friends that come to celebrate their heritage, history and tradition. There’s something for everyone.

Thursday evening starts with pageant registration at 5:30. The theme this year is “Deep in the Heart of Texas” with participants being judged on poise and talent. The competition for Mr. and Miss Potato Sprout, Mr. and Miss Tater Tot, Miss Curly Fry, Lil’ Miss Sweet Potato, Jr. Miss Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Princess and Sweet Potato Queen begins at 6 p.m. The final winner will be crowned by Miss Texas after the parade on Saturday.

Friday’s Mutton Bustin’ registration begins at 5 p.m. Watch your favorite little cowboy or cowgirl grab some wool and go at this unique rodeo event starting at 6 p.m. Afterward, go to the pavilion for gospel night at 7 p.m.

Saturday morning gets you out the door and active with the 5K walk/run at 7 a.m. It costs $20 to enter and all proceeds go to the Alba-Golden cross country team. Prizes will be awarded in adult and children divisions for 1st-5th place.

Parade participants will line up at 9 a.m. and roll through downtown Golden beginning at 10 a.m. Grand Marshals of the parade are Barney and Joyce Terrell.

The National Anthem at 11 a.m. signals the start of the entertainment. From 11-noon, enjoy the Alba-Golden band and cheerleaders, a performance by Dance Dimensions, a performance by Blue Blazes Jump Rope Team and music by Swoapes Family Band.

At 12:30, Miss Texas 2019, Chandler Foreman, will make her appearance. Foreman is a 22-year-old senior at the University of North Texas pursuing a degree in broadcast media with a minor in communications. She plays three instruments including the flute, has been the entertainment anchor for three UNT TV shows, designed “Queens Have No Size,” was in the Houston Youth Philharmonic, and is National Elite All-American in track and field. During her 12-month speaking tour, she will make more than 250 appearances and speak before over 100,000 people about the Texas Cares for Children Program, the Children’s Miracle Network and her personal platform “The Leader Within.”

The auction will begin at 1 p.m. followed by singers Jeff Boyd at 2:10 p.m. and Courtney Spence at 2:30 p.m.. The pie eating contest starts at 3 p.m.

Results of the baking competition for adult and child divisions will be posted at 6 p.m. on the community center outside doors and announced on Facebook. Categories include pies, cakes and bars, and savory dishes. All recipes must contain and taste like sweet potatoes.

There will also be a special appearance by Miss Fort Worth’s Outstanding Teen 2020, Celeste Lay. Lay is a junior at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler where she is a member of Southern Belles Drill Team, Good Vibrations singing group, the student council, musical theater and Young Life. For more festival information, to register for any event or to have a vendor booth, visit www.gspfestival.org. Proceeds go directly back into the community.

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