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Fledgling festival judged a success

Fledgling festival judged a success
Fledgling festival judged a success
Brian Fogle and Bruce Fry walk past 'The Three Amigos,' Tyson Foods balloon characters, at the first 'Cockadoodle Days' festival Friday night at the Harrison County Fairgrounds. (Photo by Randy West)

Cockadoodle Days widely exceeded expectations as a first-year event, and 99 percent of those surveyed loved the name. The event honored volunteers, focusing this year on firefighters.
About 4,000 people attended as The Marlins took the stage Friday night followed by The Monarchs on Saturday. A beer garden sprouted for the first time at the Harrison County Fairgrounds and washed down some of the nearly 1,300 chicken dinners sold to benefit the YMCA of Harrison County.
‘Indications are that we are going to do it again next year,’ said Sean Hawkins, community development manager for the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau and president of the Cockadoodle Days Committee. ‘We’ve laid a good foundation. We’ve heard nothing but positive comments.’
The CVB contributed $20,000 to cover a variety of expenses, including the musical acts, advertising, and use of the fairgrounds. The bureau also measured the palatability of Cockadoodle Days through more than 200 surveys.
‘People thought we should continue, the timing was right. It definitely fulfilled our expectations. As a first year event, you never know what will happen, and the fall time is very busy for events. There was a good atmosphere, a good vibe,’ Hawkins said.
Firefighters from six counties were invited to be honored on Saturday. Sixty firefighters representing 13 departments made an appearance and received a free chicken dinner and lapel pin.
Unfortunately, a train derailment in Milltown about 5:45 p.m. Saturday precluded the attendance of some firefighters.
The Harrison County Community Foundation contributed $10,000 which was used to honor the firefighters and purchase the pins and $7 dinners. And a 32-inch TV donated by First Harrison Bank was won by Roscoe Meek of Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. in a firefighters-only drawing.
The chicken was donated by Tyson Foods. The YMCA of Harrison County and local Moose Lodge helped prepare the dinners. Over $7,000 raised through the dinner sale benefitted the YMCA building campaign.
Proceeds from the beer garden went to Leadership Harrison County.
In keeping with the spirit of honoring volunteers, announcements were put out asking for applications for food and craft booths, and volunteer/non-profit groups were given first consideration. Booth rental was $35 for non-profits and $50 to commercial vendors, said Virgil Carpenter, a director with HCCF.
An appearance was also made by Tyson mascot ‘Buddy The Chicken,’ who said, ‘It’s very hot in here.’