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2021 Catskin Days festival opens Thursday night in Carrier Mills

  • A carnival returns to Catskin Days this year.

    A carnival returns to Catskin Days this year.

By Renee Trappe
updated: 9/23/2021 12:40 PM

Catskin Days in Carrier Mills kicked off Thursday night and runs through Saturday, and while this is first and foremost a local festival, Mayor Tracy Felty says everybody in the region is invited.

"The more the merrier," he encourages.

The event began Thursday evening with the annual beauty pageant, where at least 30 contestants had already signed up by Thursday morning. Gospel singing, a raffle drawing and carnival rides brought people out, too.

The festival continues Friday and Saturday, opening at 6 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Catskin Days parade has been moved from its traditional afternoon slot to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Felty said they anticipate the timing will work better for festivalgoers, since after the parade people can move seamlessly into the carnival rides, food and drink booths (shishkabob, chocolate-covered bananas and more) and entertainment, without a break in the action.

The Grand Marshal of the 2021 parade will be Jim Overstreet, the former longtime postmaster in Carrier Mills.

"I like to tell him he was the postmaster for 100 years," Felty joked. "As a kid I remember him being the postmaster." Overstreet is expected to lead the parade, being driven in a convertible. The parade is also expected to have at least one high school band, from Goreville.

This is also the first year in several that the Catskin Days Committee has brought in a carnival.

"It's the first time we've had a true carnival in three or four years," Felty said.

The mayor said Catskin Days (Carrier Mills was once nicknamed "Catskin") started out in life as a Halloween festival, and then became a fall festival, before ultimately becoming identified as a town festival. This year is the 149th anniversary of Carrier Mills' founding, so look out to see what the committee cooks up for 2022.

"It's a fun way for the community to come out and get together," Felty said, adding the weather should remain terrific all weekend.

Catskin Days schedule

Food, music, games, rides and more are at the 2021 Catskin Days in Carrier Mills, this weekend. The festival name refers to a nickname the town used to have, more than a century ago. Most events are free; there is a charge for carnival rides.

Thursday, Sept. 23

6-10 p.m. Carnival rides.

6 p.m. Beauty pageants.

7 p.m. Gospel singing.

8 p.m. Raffle drawing.

Friday, Sept. 24

6-10 p.m. Carnival rides.

6-7 p.m. Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School cheerleaders and dance team perform.

7-10 p.m. White Lightning Band.

Saturday, Sept. 25

7-10 a.m. Junior class pancake breakfast at municipal building.

5 p.m. Catskin Days "Jungle Cruise" parade. Parade lineup at 4 p.m. on East Washington Street.

5:30 p.m. Cake walk.

6-10 p.m. Carnival rides.

7-10 p.m. Trade Band.

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