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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Carnival opens today

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Larry Floyd and Gene Stroud build a contestant door for the American Legion Carnival pageants
SIKESTON -- Larry Floyd anticipates nothing but a good atmosphere, good food and happy faces this year during the 62nd Annual American Legion Cotton Carnival set for today through Saturday at the Sikeston Jaycee rodeo grounds.

The Sikeston's American Legion Post 114 commander and general chairman for the carnival said the post, its auxiliary and volunteers work very hard in preparation for the annual event. But in the end, it's all worth it.

"We just want everybody to come out and enjoy it with us," Floyd said.

Floyd estimated about 60,000 people flock to the carnival over the five-day period each year.

"It varies," Floyd said. "It depends on the weather, and we should have good weather this year. We hope to be bigger than last year."

The carnival will be open at 5 p.m. during the week and at noon Saturday.

"We're going to have the same rides and hopefully a few new ones," Floyd said, adding the Legion signed another three-year contract with Tinsley Amusements.

Tuesday, Friday and Saturday will be wristband nights and all rides will be $1 Wednesday.

In addition to the fun, carnival attendees look forward to the food available each year, especially the fish sandwiches, Floyd pointed out.

"People come from miles around to get the fish sandwiches -- it's a tradition," Floyd said.

The American Legion's fish trailer will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch before reopening at 4 p.m. for the carnival.

Also available will the Angus beef quarter-pounder hamburgers and the Sons of American Legion barbecue trailer.

"They make super trim Boston butts, chicken wings and jumbo chicken wings," Floyd said about the Sons of American Legion.

All of the profits from the carnival benefit charities throughout the year, Floyd noted.

"All of our charities are very important," Floyd said.

All of the contests throughout the week -- Little Mr. and Miss (7:30 p.m. Wednesday), Junior Miss Sikeston (8 p.m. Thursday), Miss Cotton Carnival (12:

30 p.m. Saturday) and Miss Sikeston (7 p.m. Saturday) -- are big draws for the carnival, Floyd said. And new this year is a band featured on Friday night. Neon Nights will perform from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

"We think the band will be a great addition to the carnival," Floyd said.

Rounding out the week's festivities is Saturday's Cotton Carnival Parade -- the largest in the state. This year's themes are "Honoring Disabled Veterans" and "Our Youth Are Our Future."

"We appreciate the community's support each year and the parade participants," said Blair Moran, parade marshal, parade chair and dignitaries chair. "We know it takes a great deal of time to work on the floats, and we appreciate the efforts to ensure we have another successful American Legion Cotton Carnival Parade."

Moran also commended Tom Dirnberger, co-chair of the parade, and the Sikeston Jaycees for their assistance during the carnival and parade.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with line up beginning at 9:15 a.m. Moran said adult floats to be judged should line up on Gladys Street, and student-Scout floats to be judged should line up on Courtney Street. Trucks, tractors and floats not to be judged should be on Ables Road headed west. Miss Sikeston and Cotton Carnival contestants should line up on the Field House parking lot. Dignitaries and political candidates will begin on Matthews Street and head east. Queens, kings and other royalty will begin on Kathleen Street headed east.

The grand prize winner in the adult float contest will receive $1,000, and the first place winner of the student-Scout float contest will receive $250.

Scheduled to be present during the parade is JoAnn Cronin, national president of the American Legion Auxiliary.

"She represents 900,000 women through the world's largest women's patriotic organization," Moran said.

Other individuals slated to appear at the parade are Roberta Pointer, state president of the American Legion Auxiliary; Dave Jennemann, state commander of the American Legion; and Joe Frank, past national commander of the American Legion.

"Mr. Frank is a disabled veteran. He is paraplegic due to a land mine explosion in Vietnam, and he is a great American," Moran said.

Cotton Carnival parade and program books are now available at various locations throughout Sikeston.