It's the annual event that, along with football, signals the return of autumn.
The countdown until the North La. Cotton Festival and Fair, slated for September, is rapidly approaching with new activities in store for everyone this year.
In addition to the exciting midway, carnival food and festive music, the coordinators have planned events for festival goers of all ages.
“All veterans and active military will get in free Thursday night,” said exhibit director Jo Ann Blazier. “They need to bring some form of military ID.”
Blazier said they're bringing back Kindergarden Day again this year. This is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 14.
“Inside we'll have demonstrations such as paintings, art, someone making butter, crocheting and someone making jewelry,” she said. “We'll have animals in the barn for them to look at and sometime during this time, they'll be able to ride the rides for $3.”
Blazier said vehicles from the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Dep., Bastrop Police and Fire departments, the National Guard and Med Life Ambulance Service will be on hand for the children to view.
“I wrote letters to the children, telling them to bring a sack lunch,” she said.
The theme of the Cotton Festival this year is “The Joy of Art.”
“Artists from all over Northeast Louisiana have been submitting paintings to be judged before the festival begins,” Blazier said. “First-place will receive $500, second-place gets $300 and third-place is $150.”
Blazier said the Freckled Frog Photo Contest will also be judged and displayed for festival goers.
“This is a picture contest for ages starting from infants to four years old,” she said. “The pictures must be in an 8 by 10 frame and ready to be hung. Each entry must also be accompanied with a birth certificate.”
The first-place winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Freckled Frog clothing store on the square. Second-place will receive a $75 gift certificate and third-place will get a $50 gift certificate.
Entries for the art contest and Freckled Frog contest must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Sept. 7.
The North La. Cotton Festival and Fair will be from Sept. 12–16.
The Joe Pate Exhibit Building will be open from 5–9 p.m. on Wed.-Fri. and all day Saturday.
The rides, Mitchell Brothers Amusements, will be open at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, and closes at 6 p.m. on Sept. 16.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. to the public on Wed. - Fri., 9:30 a.m. on Sat. and noon on Sun. For more information, call the fairgrounds at 281.1406.