May 19, 2022

Charlie Doodle

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Sticking Together: Molasses Festival returns after delay | News, Sports, Jobs

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Rick Hall, deemed the “Molasses Man,” helped to prepare for this weekend’s Molasses Festival at the Arnoldsburg Community Park. (Photo Provided)

ARNOLDSBURG — “It’s time to stick together again.”

The theme of “sticking together” for the return of Calhoun County’s annual Molasses Festival to Arnoldsburg was a no-brainer for festival officials.

In celebration of both the 53rd and 54th years of the festival, Patty Hall, festival official, said the event is hoped to remain or create a tradition for locals today and Saturday.

“To keep it going, we have to keep the interest,” she said.

Many of the Molasses Festival traditions such as Heritage Days, a pancake dinner and gospel night are scheduled with a few new events as well.

Maria Arnold is the winner in the cookie category of the Molasses Festival bake-off, a new addition to this weekend’s event. (Photo Provided)

This year will mark the first bake-off where contestants will submit sweets with molasses as an ingredient.

“We are excited about that. A lot of the young bakers in the county are looking forward to that,” Hall said.

The cornhole tournament will make its return to the festival after Hall said it hasn’t taken place in several years.

Due to the rise of COVID cases in the county, the festival was pushed back to this weekend when it was originally scheduled for the end of September.

Officials crowned royalty last month during the original event date with Lauren Rouse selected as Queen, Megan Harper crowned as Ms. Queen and Reagan Sisk chosen for Teen Queen.

Taylor Loving won top marks for her pie in the bake-off as part of the Molasses Festival this weekend. (Photo Provided)

Local students also participate in a pageant to raise funds for their school. People pay a penny to vote and Hall said it’s a good way to raise funds.

Today, students will come to the Arnoldsburg Community Park to participate in Heritage Days which involves demonstrations of crafts ancestors used to do in the past. Whether they see people doing laundry with a washboard, a blacksmith pounding metal or a candlemaker making a candle, Hall said students love attending Heritage Days.

Volunteers have been hard at work preparing the park for the event by painting and cleaning.

“Our park looks really good. Volunteers down here have worked so hard. I can’t give enough credit to our volunteers, they’ve been wonderful. We’ve got a great community here,” Hall said.

The festival started Thursday and extends through Saturday at Arnoldsburg Community Park. People are encouraged to bring chairs.

The following events are scheduled:


* 10 a.m.: Music by Stephanie Cunningham

* 2 p.m.: Music by John Richards

* 5:30 p.m.: Bluegrass Gospel by Rick Falls and Friends, David Bowen Family, Stephanie Cunningham and others


* 8 a.m.: Kitchens open

* 9 a.m.: Country store and vendors, dime toss open

* 10 a.m.: Music by Stephanie Cunningham

* 11 a.m.: Lions Club Bingo; Parade lineup at Arnoldsburg School; Chicken bbq at main building

* 1 p.m.: Parade

* 1:30 p.m.: Music by Kowboyz

* 3 p.m.: Skillet toss

* 4 p.m.: Corn hole tournament

* 5:30 p.m.: Music by Johnny Staats Project

* 6:45 p.m.: Final prize and rattle drawings

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