The Dierks Pine Tree Festival – one of the state’s longest running and hottest festivals – is expected to get a reprieve from the August heat this weekend for its 45th edition.
The high temperature for Friday is predicted to top out at 85 and 87 Saturday with rain chances both days that could cool off and settle the dust in the rodeo arena where the majority of the action will take place during the two-day event at the Dierks City Park.
The festival will get started Friday night at 8:00 inside the rodeo arena with an official stop on the Miniature Rodeo Association World Tour, which is a youth rodeo association specializing in providing the proper livestock for young cowboys and cowgirls.
“Our rodeo is open to anyone under the age of 18 years old and is built to enhance the experience for our members and their families,” according to the MRA website. “It is the world’s largest miniature rodeo association using miniature bucking bulls and miniature bucking ponies in all age grounds under 14 and moving our participants on to the next level of livestock from ages 15 to 18. Our program is designed to put family first and become an experience that everyone can enjoy with any of the five different events we have to offer; mini bulls, mini saddle broncs, barrel racing and the even entertaining wild pony races.”
Admission to Friday night’s events will be $5 for 7 and up, free for 6 and under.
On Friday night, the first of three $500 cash giveaways will take place for one ticket holder.
Things will continue to gain speed early Saturday morning with the Dierks Pine Tree Festival 5K Color Run and Kids Fun Run. Registration will begin at 6 a.m. with the kids’ event set to take off at 7:00. The top-three finishers in each age division will receive medals.
The adult 5K will take off around 7:30 and, according to organizer Ashley Janes, more than 65 runners have signed up. Colored dust will fly at the start and ending of both races.
Proceeds from the races will be presented to The Call, an organization that promotes foster homes in Howard County and officially launched in March 2017, and the Dierks Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the races, contact Janes at (870) 584-9948, Ashley Turner at (870) 451-3642 or Cyndal Cisneros at (870) 584-6503.
The Pine Tree Festival Parade will start rolling down Main Street around 10 a.m. and will include a flyover by a Black Hawk helicopter, which will land at the city park for closer inspection. Parade participants should begin lining up at Los Agaves at 9:15.
More than 40 vendors – selling everything from food to homemade crafts – will await attendees when they arrive at the park. There will also be lots of kids’ activities including a sawdust scramble, laser tag, a mechanical bull, as well as archery shoots for adults and youth. Attendees can also guess the weight of a loaded log truck to win prizes.
The annual lumberjack events will begin around 12 noon on Saturday.
Saturday’s events will build up to the main attraction when the rodeo arena hosts the 5th annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and No Holds Barred Freestyle Bull Fight. That events starts at 8 p.m.
The popular Mutton Bustin’ events will start at 6 p.m. Saturday and is open for riders under 60 pounds. The entry price is $10 and the event is limited to 20 riders.
Saturday night admission prices include $5 for ages 7-12 and $10 for 13 and up.
Two more $500 cash prizes will be handed out Saturday to ticket holders ages 13 and up while a boy and a girl ages 7-12 will have a chance to win a new 20-inch bicycle.
Also on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Pine Tree Festival will host a LifeShare Blood Center blood drive.