This weekend, the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce is inviting the public to “get their redneck on” at the Millsboro Country Festival.
“We needed a new idea for something in the area, as Big Thursday had kind of gone by the wayside,” said Amy Simmons, the Chamber’s executive director. “We thought that this kind of a festival fit the niche of the area. We’re an agricultural community. We have groups of people who have big trucks in this area. We have people who live a more country life than others.”
The festival will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m. on Main Street, with the Rust Bucket Parade and Flea Ridd’N Bed Races. Those who wish to participate in the two events must preregister before Saturday.
Teams participating in the bed races are being encouraged to decorate themselves and the bed in a “redneck” theme, and the use of distraction devices, such as water guns, horns, water balloons, megaphones, whistles, etc., are approved and even recommended. At least one team member will ride on the bed, with the others pushing from behind.
“For the Rust Bucket Parade, you bring your favorite rusty, old, dilapidated vehicle. Push it, pull it, drag it — however you want — in the parade,” she explained. “For the Bed Races, anything from a twin-sized bed to a king-sized bed can be used, and no particular wheels are required. Just use your imagination! It has to be manpowered. No engines are allowed.”
A car, truck and tractor show will also be held on Monroe Street, where anyone in the community can participate.
“Registration will open at 8 a.m., judging is at noon and the awards will be given at 2 p.m.,” said Simmons.
The festival’s Opening Ceremony will take place at W.B. Atkins Ball Park at noon, kicking off a full day of festivities. Attendees can enjoy redneck craft vendors and live entertainment throughout the day.
The 10th installment of the Mountaire Chickin’ Pickin’ will be held, pitting 20 local competitors against each other to see who can pick and shred the most meat from oven-roasted chickens in a timed, ultra-competitive format.
“There is a $500 cash prize, courtesy of Mountaire, for whoever picks the most chicken,” Simmons said. “It should be a fun competition to watch.”
A Kid’s Corner, sponsored by Nucar’s Lewes Auto Mall, will also be available at the ballfield.
“We’ve got a really cool kids’ corner with lots of fun kids’ activities,” said Simmons.
Other events attendees can participate in are Hillbilly’s Got Talent, Super Redneck Challenge Course, Sharp Dressed Redneck Contest and a Daisy Duke Look-A-Like Contest.
“We are also having the cornhole tournament that Cat Country’s running, where all the proceeds will be donated to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.”
Food vendors will be on-site, including sponsor Jimmy’s Grille, who will be roasting a pig that day, as well as Hocker’s BBQ Food Truck and the Lions Club with their oyster sandwiches.
“You should be sure to come hungry,” laughed Simmons. “We’ll have plenty of good food.”
The day’s main attraction could be the live entertainment, offered with a $5 wristband purchase for adults and free for children 12 or younger. Performers include the Dirt Road Outlawz, Randy Lee Ashcraft & the Saltwater Cowboys, and the much anticipated Cooter and the Garage Band, featuring actor and former Congressman Ben Jones, who played Cooter on “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
“Cooter and the General Lee will be available for pictures and autographs from 1 to 4 p.m. They’ll be doing their concert that night starting at 7 p.m. We’re really looking forward to that,” she said. “Cooter and ‘The Dukes of Hazard,’ they just embrace country living, country style. I think it’s the perfect fit for this event.”
Simmons said she’s hoping to make the festival an annual event and that she has gotten a positive response from the community.
“I can’t get through BJ’s without answering 10 or 15 questions about it. The community has embraced this, and we’ve heard nothing but, ‘Oh, this sounds like a really fun time.’ We’re looking forward to a very positive event and a very large turnout.”
Simmons said those who plan on attending should bring a lawn chair and prepare for a fun-filled day.
“It is totally family-friendly. From the very start of this, it was going to be something family-friendly and something for all ages,” she said. “Everybody, please come out that day, have fun, let your hair down and have a good time!”
For more information about the festival, or to register to participate in any events, contact the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce at (302) 934-6777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.millsborochamber.com.