Fourth annual sorghum festival draws over 300

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Using horsepower the old-fashioned way to make sorghum.

Over 300 visitors from Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri took a step back in time as they attended the fourth annual Sorghum Festival held at Poor Boy's Garden near Caraway on Saturday Sept. 20.

The event, hosted by Kenny and Barbara Weathers, continues to grow and each year new events are added to the old-fashioned sorghum harvest and cooking.

A display of antique tools, many provided by Mr. Schoolfield, along with tractors provided by members of Bono Tractor Club, and local residents Bill Davenport, Truman Reams and Hunter Miller were on display for the guests to view.

This is the way it was done.

Two new events were added this year including the women's skillet throw competition and the men's hub cap hurl. Kevin Tucker of Caraway won the men's competition.

NEA Amateur Ham Radio operators broadcasted from the event. Visitors welcomed the crew of the Hospital Wing helicopter which landed on site.

Charley Prater, 89, of Paragould was on hand and provided horse and buggy rides along with a mule and breaking plow. Kenneth Lucy of Pocahontas, broke ground with his three mules and plow along with Bobby Brady of Bono who also broke ground.

Host Kenny Weathers welcomed everyone encouraging them to make themselves at home. He expressed his appreciation to everyone who helped with the festival.

Making sorghum takes time.

"Everyone I asked to help this year took part in the day," Weathers said. "We just want everyone to enjoy the day with us."

The horsepower used to power the mill was provided by Carey Pfeifer of Jonesboro. Local friends and politicians joined in the harvesting of the cane. The sorghum mill used for the event is part of Caraway's history and has been around the area since about 1940.

Maria Stewart Sullivan sang the National Anthem. Marty Scarbro of KASU Radio gave the invocation.

Bluegrass music was provided by well known groups including County Line of Northeast Arkansas and Interstate 30 from South Arkansas. Weathers expressed his appreciation to the sponsors who helped provide the entertainment.

Cecil Brickell brought homemade Ozark Mountain canes to the event. They were sold for a $5 donation with all proceeds going to nursing home residents. Also tickets were sold for a Martin guitar to be given away in January with all proceeds going to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Anyone who would like to purchase tickets for $1 each or six for $5 can see Kenny Weathers between now and January.

McKinlee Weathers, 2, was crowned Miss Sorghum Princess 2014.

Among the candidates for county offices attending were Kade Holliday, Candace Edwards, Nancy Robbins, Wes Ward, Marty Boyd, Ed Hill, Toni Oden, Ashley Broadaway, Hannah Holloway-Towell. Candidates for state offices included Dan Sullivan, Rick Crawford, Homer Lenderman, Representatives for Mike Ross, and Asa Hutchinson. Local candidates for mayor included Mayor Barry Riley and Kevin Tucker.

A barbecue luncheon with all of the trimmings was served.

The sorghum was cooked in a pot the old fashioned way.

"We couldn't have asked for a better day for our friends to visit," Mr. and Mrs. Weathers said. "We are looking forward to next year."

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