176th Russellville Engine Show and Festival slated for the weekend

The Russellville band Blackwater will perform 7-10 p.m. Friday at the Russellville City Park Gazebo and at 2 p.m. Saturday downtown during the 176th Russellville Engine Show and Festival.

The Russellville band Blackwater will perform 7-10 p.m. Friday at the Russellville City Park Gazebo and at 2 p.m. Saturday downtown during the 176th Russellville Engine Show and Festival.

RUSSELLVILLE — New leadership coordinating the 176th Russellville Engine Show and Festival is looking to attract the younger generation to the festival Friday through Sunday.

Softball tournaments, lots of popular music bands and a street dance, fitness demonstrations and a 5K color run have been added with the 20s and 30s in mind.

Other traditions remain including the parade, car cruise, chainsaw competitions and community worship service.

The one thing that won’t continue is the frog leg frying. But that has been replaced with fried chicken, which President Rodney Edwards expect will be a hit.

Other officers of the newly reorganized festival committee include Vice president Jason Morris, Treasurer Donna Roe, and Secretary Melinda Penberthy.

Another addition to this year’s event is a partnership with the 2015 Project Graduation committee.

They will host most of the events downtown Saturday, as well as the slow pitch softball and kickball tournaments beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday at Lion’s Club Ball Park.

Project Graduation also has organized a 5K color Run beginning at 6:45 a.m. Saturday at the high school parking lot.

Proceeds from this year’s festival will help the Russellville-Lohman Fire Protection District purchase a bunker suit, costing $3,5000.

The 175th anniversary festival drew about 500 visitors. Edwards said he expects about 300 this year.

“We want this to be a community event for folks to enjoy what we have to offer,” Edwards said.

The popular, local group Blackwater will perform the older rock-style music 7-10 p.m. Friday at the park and perform acoustic at 2 p.m. Saturday downtown.

The Osage Drifters will bring the feel of Branson to the event 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the park gazebo.

Antinim & Kid Twist will perform at noon downtown.

And Railroad Avenue downtown will be closed off for a street dance 6:30 p.m.-midnight, with a variety of rock and country by Instant Reality Band and Slick Nickle.

With the theme “Honoring Our Flag,” the annual parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Local Silver Star honorees and the Eldon VFW color guard have been invited.

Tractors and antique cars will be in the parade and then on display at the City Park and Scrivner-Morrow Funeral Home, respectively. And the namesake steam engine displays will be set up, as always.

Other events Friday include the opening ceremony and the Boy Scouts flag retirement, the beginning of the 12U girls softball tournament, the baby show, and the Little Mr. and Miss and Miss Teen Russellville Pageants beginning at 6 p.m.

Other events Saturday at the park include the silent auction 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the pavilion, continuation of the 12U softball tournament, craft vendors 9 a.m.-4 p.m., food vendors 11 a.m.-4 p.m., chainsaw competition at 2 p.m., live auction at 2 p.m., pedal tractor pull in front of the school at 2:30 p.m.

Other Saturday events downtown include the Crossfit Unstoppable demonstration at 11 a.m. and washerboard tournament at noon.

Following tradition, the weekend will wrap up with a Community Worship Service at 11 a.m. at the park, or the middle school gym in case of inclement weather.

The community choir will be led by the Rev. Eugene Moll and accompanied by Leah Tenkku. The Rev. Gary Digby, pastor of Enon Baptist Church, will preach and other pastors from the hosting Russellville-Lohman Ministerial Alliance will read scripture and lead in prayer.

An offering will be collected to benefit the Rape and Abuse Crisis Services of Jefferson City.

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