Festival tunes in for 2003 event

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Festival of Hope organizers are hoping for great reception this month when they transfer the action from the small screen to reality in Tupelo.

This year's festival – TV Land 2003 – will feature events inspired by golden oldies and new reality shows.

“They can expect a really good time,” said Hank Boerner, a member of the Project Hope board.

The festivities will run from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 11 at the Live Well Community Walking Track. As of March 28, some 35 teams will square off in friendly, TV-themed competitions.

The real competition takes place before the festival when the teams raise the money to help area diabetes, heart and cancer patients. The festival is sponsored by Project Hope, North Mississippi Medical Center and Outback Steakhouse.

“Our goal this year (is to raise) $100,000,” said Bill Austin, festival chairman. “We have eight more teams than last year.

Although team members will be the ones competing, there will be plenty for the public to do and see at the annual festival.

A Children's Carnival will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. People can learn more about preventing heart disease, diabetes and cancer at the Live Well tent.

They can sit back and enjoy as teams compete in small-screen-inspired events like the Earnest T. Bass Rock Throwing Contest and the Fear Factor Obstacle Course.

People who are surviving heart disease, cancer and diabetes can register at the survivor's tent and will be recognized during the opening ceremonies. They also will receive a free meal provided by Outback Steakhouse.

Others may purchase a meal ticket for $5.

For more information about the Festival of Hope call 377-3867 or 377-4143.