24th annual Yell Fest set for Friday, Saturday

By Tammy Keith Originally Published May 9, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 8, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.
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Linda Valliere cleans the outside of her concession stand at a previous Yell Fest. The 2013 Yell Fest will be Friday and Saturday in Dardanelle.

Dardanelle will be a noisy place on Friday and Saturday.

The 24th annual Yell Fest has all kinds of activities including, yes, a yelling contest.

“The yelling is quite funny, actually,” said Ashley Andrews, executive director of the Dardanelle Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s really just a contest to see who yells the loudest. It’s kind of been a tradition,” she said.

The festival will be held Friday and Saturday in Veterans Riverfront Park on Front Street in downtown Dardanelle.

It will start at 4 p.m. Friday with music from the Dardanelle High School band, as well as Rawhide and Feedback.

Saturday will kick off with the Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast from 7-11 a.m.

The day includes a lot of running around, with the Yell Fest 4-mile Run and a kids fun run, as well as horseshoes at 10 a.m. and music from Megan Morrison at 11:15 a.m.

An ugly-dog contest is set to begin at noon, and the famous yelling contest will be at 12:20 p.m.

A poker run is scheduled from 1-4 p.m., and more music is on tap with Caitlin Miller, Three on the Tree, Some Guy Named Robb, Street Water Bank, Merrilee Voth and, the last act of the night at 7:30, Jamie Lou and The Whiskeys Too.

A carnival is the biggest draw, Andrews said.

“All the children love that,” she said.

“Aside from the carnival, we’re going to have extra large bounce houses to even where adults can get in there,” Andrews said.

Food vendors will include “some of the best catfish in the South,” Andrews said.

Craft vendors will set up their wares as well.

“From being able to get your hair braided to an air-brushed license plate, you name it, and we’ll have it at our event,” she said.

The festival will go out with a bang with fireworks at 9:30 p.m., Andrews said.

“We’re hoping we have good weather, absolutely,” she said.

“Last year, we had over 11,000 people,” she said. “This year, it’s actually bigger. We’ve advertised more, and we’re expecting a bigger turnout.

“This is our No. 1 fundraiser for the entire year. The chamber functions through these types of events. The way I’m able to go to different businesses and help them network is through events like this.”

The benefit to festivalgoers, Andrews said, is that they get to enjoy Dardanelle, “which is a beautiful place.”

“It’s going to be a fun time,” she said.

For more information, call the Dardanelle Area Chamber of Commerce at (479) 229-3328.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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