Amory gears up for 2010 Railroad Festival

By Chris Wilson/Monroe Journal

AMORY – The 32nd edition of the Amory Railroad Festival will chug into town the weekend of April 15-18. Citizens of Amory will pay homage to their railroad roots by conveging on Frisco Park and surrounding areas.
Planners have been ironing out last minute details to assure festival-goers of a good time.
As in years past, the weekend actually opens with a community-wide interdenominational worship service at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, at First United Methodist Church.
A free health fair will open downtown festivities on Thursday from 11-2 on First Avenue beside Frisco Park. The event, sponsored by Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center, will offer free health screenings and information about health-related topics.
The opening ceremony for the festival will get under way on the Frisco Park stage at 4:45 p.m. Thursday. Corporate sponsors and festival committee members will be recognized, visitors will be officially welcomed and Brooke Galloway will sing the National Anthem.
Food booths, arts and craft vendors and the kiddie carnival will all be open Thursday through Sunday. The carnival will open at noon Thursday.
Entertainment will take the stage following opening ceremonies, running until 9:30 p.m. and starting back up at 9 a.m. Friday.
New food vendors have been added to this year’s lineup. While most food vendors will be located in the parking lot north of Frisco Park, some will also be on Main Street this year.
Beta Sigma Phi Sorority runs the arts and craft portion of the festival and will have an information booth on First Avenue beside the park. Crafters will begin setting up Thursday.
Official festival T-shirts will be available at the Festival Committee information booth on First Avenue beside the steam engine or at the park stage. Shirts are $10 and $12 each.
The 5K Railroad Run that benefits the Relay for Life will be held Saturday morning, commencing from in front of the fire station. Registration is at 8 a.m. with the race beginning at 9 a.m.
Saturday’s events will also include a car show on Main Street hosted by the Tenn-Tom Cruisers. Registration is 8-11:30 a.m. with judging from noon -2 p.m.
A group of hobos from throughout the country are regular festival guests. They will set up their camp and fire behind the steam engine in the park. They always welcome visitors who want to sit a spell and chat with them.
Local officials remind the public to drive cautiously due to the many pedestrians in the area and to also be mindful of not parking vehicles in front of driveways or in other no parking zones. No pets are allowed in the park during festival weekend.
A free shuttle bus, co-sponsored by the Amory Regional Museum and St. Andrews UMC, will run every hour on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. between Frisco Park and the museum.