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Official cutting of the feathers by Queen Macey Jo Hanson and the court kicks off the 41st East Texas Poultry Festival

October 5, 2017 (Photo Album) - The 41st East Texas Poultry Festival has begun with the opening ceremonies having been completed October 5, 2017.

Josh Payne, 41st East Texas Poultry Festival Chairman, welcomed everyone to the opening ceremonies and introduced Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge, as well as Bryan Wages, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President.

Bro. Bobby Bressman, First Baptist Church, gave the invocation and the Center High School band performed the National Anthem.

“On behalf of Shelby County I would like to welcome everyone to the 41st Annual East Texas Poultry Festival, it is an honor to be here this morning and I hope that this year’s festival is the best one ever,” said Judge Harbison.

Wages also welcomed everyone to the festival and expressed appreciation to many involved with the event.
“It’s a time to enjoy our community and salute the poultry industry, which is one of the major economic basis of our economy here in Shelby County,” said Wages. “I would like to take this time to extend many thanks and much appreciation to all the volunteers that give generously of their time and resources to help plan, prepare and carry out all the details to bring this event together.” 

After each of the ETPF Queen’s court introduced themselves, Macey Jo Hanson performed the ceremonial cutting of the feathers and the 41st ETPF was declared open. 

October 5, 2017 - Joaquin Masonic Lodge greatly appreciates the support we received in our recent fund raising sale of BBQ plates and Big Green Egg raffle. This support allows us to continue and expand our charitable activities. Thank you.

Jay Wilson/Secretary/ Joaquin Masonic Lodge

October 5, 2017 - Delta Gamma members toured the Patricia Smith Huffman NASA museum in Hemphill for their September meeting. Everyone enjoyed the night and look forward to field trips to the museum in the future with their class or family. Delta Gamma is the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, key women educators of Sabine, Shelby and San Augustine counties.

Submitted by Nora Robinson

October 3, 2017 - Eddie Hill who is a son-in-law of Rotarian Joe West and owns a team building company in Dallas called Team UP, Inc. spoke to the Rotary Club of Center on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 for a quick impromptu program.

Hill spoke about six things organizations need to do to be successful. He referenced DDI which is a leadership company for the six points for success - What are you trying to accomplish?, What is your plan?, Communicate, Involvement, Commitment, and Work as a team. For more information about Eddie Hill, visit

OBrandon Tylerctober 3, 2017 - Entertainment at the 41st East Texas Poultry Festival is proud to welcome several new acts to the stage including an Austin, Texas duo - Lynette and Lefty, Brandon Tyler, and Zumba!

Lynette and Lefty will be playing at 1:00 pm on both Friday and Saturday, October 6th and 7th.

Brandon Tyler will be performing at the East Texas Poultry Festival on Thursday, October 5th at 6:30 P.M. Tyler said, "It is truly an honor to be able to play at such an amazing event, especially an event that I've attended every year since my childhood. Thank you Mr. Danny Paul and Mrs. Sally Windham for making this happen."

A FREE Zumba class will be at the Poultry Festival! With an incredibly fun way to help you achieve your ideal weight,  Jojo Cardio, a Certified Zumba Instructor for 5 years, will get you ready to shake your tail feather on Saturday, October 7th at 2 p.m. in the Big Entertainment Tent!

October 2, 2017 - It's time for the 41st Annual East Texas Poultry Festival with opening ceremonies Thursday, October 5th at 10am. The festival schedule is coming today with a full list of events and entertainment for everyone's enjoyment. Festival buttons are $5 and gives entry into the event all three days - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Carnival rides start at 6pm Thursday and run until 10pm, Friday from 1pm until festival close, and Saturday from noon until festival close.

Wrist bands are availabe for $18 on Thursday from 6pm to 10pm and Friday from 1pm to 5pm. No arm bands on Saturday.

First Place in the Doo Dah Parade went to Windham Family Dental of Shelby County

September 29, 2017 (Doo Dah Parade Photos - Album1, Album2, Chicken Cooking Photos - Album1) - The 41st East Texas Poultry Festival Doo Dah Parade, sponsored by Center Tire Company, was held Wednesday, September 27, on the Historic Downtown Center Square.  A large number of spectators enjoyed the Queen’s Court candidate floats, civic organization and business entries.  Junior Chamber of Commerce and Young Ambassador students led the parade.

Doo Dah Parade trophy winners include:

First Place – Windham Family Dental of Shelby County
Second Place – Center Garden Club
Third Place – Lawn Chair Brigade

The Chicken Cooking Contest sponsored by Tyson Foods was held after the parade. Chairman Denise Merriman announced the winners.

Adult Division
First Place – Shelby Savings Bank
Second Place –Farmers State Bank

High School Youth Division
First Place – Maurico Alejaldre Robles, Johali Aviles, and Jessica McSwain (Updated)
Second Place – Jacee Hooks
Third Place – Diana Jiminez

Youth Division
First Place – Zeke Richey

People’s Choice Award went to Shelby Savings Bank
Best Dressed Table went to Shelby Savings Bank.

The Queen’s Court parade winners will be announced Saturday, September 30, at the East Texas Poultry Festival Queen’s Pageant at 6:00 p.m. at Center High School cafetorium.

Gold Sponsors for the Doo Dah Parade are Ilho Sales and Imports Professional Title Services. Gold Sponsors for the Chicken Cooking Contest are K & L Contractors and Triple J Feed.

Farmers State Bank is this year’s East Texas Poultry Festival Presenting Sponsor. The traditional Cutting of the Feathers and Opening Ceremonies, sponsored by High Roller Wells, will be held Thursday, October 5, at 10:00 a.m. on the downtown square. See you there!

People's Choice and Best Dressed Table went to Shelby Savings Bank

Youth Division Winner - Zeke Richey

High School Youth first place went to Maurico Alejaldre Robles, Johali Aviles, and Jessica McSwain

September 30, 2017 (Pageant photos coming soon) - Macey Jo Hanson was crowned the 2017 Miss East Texas Poultry Festival Queen during the coronation ceremony held Saturday, September 30, 2017 after fourteen beautiful contestant took to the stage with their escorts.

The 2016 Queen Madelynn Hutchins was escorted by Klay Adkinson. The 2017 Princesses were: Rebekah Bridges, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willy Bridges, escorted by Brayden Strong, son of Mr. Michael Strong and Ms. Krista Warr; Paige Shedd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Johnnie Shedd, escorted by Jacobi Jackson, son of Mrs. Barbara Jackson; Claire Spann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Spann, escorted by Bryce Cockrell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Cockrell; Madison Russell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Randy Russell, escorted by Jackson Cater, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Carter; Olivia Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Johnson, escorted by Blaine Agnew, son of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Agnew; Alexis Berry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Berry, escorted by Kaleb Campbell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jody Ferguson; Michalla Byrd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Joe Byrd, escorted by John Penning, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tyson Penning; Katie Nehring, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chad Nehring, escorted by Abram Morales, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rafael Morales; Hannah Grace Jamison, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Javey Jamison, escorted by Trevor Wilburn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Wilburn; Madison Hicks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Hicks, escorted by Austin Williford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Gray; Kiersten Elizabeth-Marie Turner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Rodgers, escorted by Sam McSwain, son of the late Larry McSwain and Mr. and Mrs. John Jenkins; Victoria Cheyenne Byrnes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Byrnes, escorted by Keaton Watlington, son of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Watlington; Macey Joe Hanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Hanson, escorted by John Grogan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Grogan; and Baylea Jane Bressman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Bressman, escorted by Axel Luna, son of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Luna.

Children of the Court were Dru Moody, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donnie Moody, escorted by Kiptyn Phelps, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Phelps; Jacie Lee, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Justin Lee, escorted by Conner Nutt, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerrod Nutt; and Bailey Miller, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Hughes and Mr. and Mrs. Cody Miller, escorted by Kayden Nutt, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Mathews and Mr. and Mrs. Jerrod Nutt.

(From left) Chris Watlington speaks to the Children of the Court: Bailey Miller, Kayden Nutt, Kiptyn Phelps, Dru Moody, Jacie Lee, and Conner Nutt

The top three contestants were Michalla Byrd, Kierten Elizabeth-Marie Turner, and Macey Jo Hanson. They were each asked the question by the master of ceremonies, Chris Watlington, "In a world full of followers, why do you think it is important to be a leader?"

The top three contestants from left: Macey Jo Hanson, Michalla Byrd, and Kiersten Turner

Byrd responded, "I think it is very important to be a leader because you get to show others how the right way to go just like Jesus did in the Bible."

Turner responded, "In a world full of followers, I believe it is best to be a leader because... I think it's important to be your own person and let other people follow in your decisions in what you do and what you say, let who you are be shown and let everyone else see the light within your personality and who you are and want to be like you. Overall, I believe that it is important to be a leader and not a follower because when you are a leader people look up to you and it's a very high sense of independence and I just love that."

Hanson responded, "In a world of followers I believe its important to be a leader because sometimes people stray off their path and they need help... Five years ago, I was unfortunately diagnosed with a type of diabetes and thinking about a challenge I face everyday - it's a trial that you have to fight the good fight to win. And when I was sick in that hospital room, I had a very beautiful lady walk in, short blonde hair, I mean she lite up the room when she stepped in. And through all the changes I was dealing with in that moment in time, my world was falling apart is what I was telling myself and granted it was tough, but like I said, when she walked in she just lit the room up. And so ever since then I remember how I felt personally when she walked into that room and she asked 'Hey, how are you doing, my name is so and so, are you a cheerleader?' I said, 'Yes, ma'am, I'm a little sixth grade cheerleader.' She said, 'Do you make good grades?' I said, 'Yes, ma'am, I'm an all A student.' And she said, 'You know what, you are going to be ok, it's ok.' And so ever since that day, on January 7th of 2013, I told myself that's why I'm gonna make my career in the medical field. I'm gonna be there for people who need it at that moment in time because I've been to the bottom and I understand what it feels like and so, therefore, I'm gonna lead others and help them when needed."

The first runner up was Kierten Elizabeth-Marie Turner and the second runner up was Michalla Byrd

Additional awards presented during the ceremony were:

Parade Awards
Sweepstakes - Victoria Cheyenne Byrnes
President's Award - Madison Russell
Mayor's Award - Alexis Berry
Honorable Mention - Baylea Jane Bressman

Miss Congeniality - Madison Russell

Winner - Kiersten Elizabeth-Marie Turner
1st Runner Up - Michalla Byrd
2nd Runner Up - Rebekah Bridges

Winner - Claire Spann
1st Runner Up - Alexis Berry
2nd Runner Up - Hannah Grace Jamison and Paige Shedd

GPA (High School Academic Grade Point Average)
Winner - Michalla Byrd
1st Runner Up - Claire Spann
2nd Runner Up - Olivia Johnson

Participation and Honors in Activities
Winner - Claire Spann
1st Runner Up - Michalla Byrd
2nd Runner Up - Macey Jo Hanson

Social Skills
Winner - Macey Jo Hanson
1st Runner Up - Madison Russell
2nd Runner Up - Kiersten Elizabeth-Marie Turner
Winner - Macey Jo Hanson
1st Runner Up - Kiersten Elizabeth-Marie Turner
2nd Runner Up - Michalla Byrd and Claire Spann

Stage Presence
Winner - Kiersten Elizabeth-Marie Turner
1st Runner Up - Michalla Byrd
2nd Runner Up - Rebekah Bridges

Committee Award - Katie Nehring

Grand Duke Award - John Gavin Penning, Keaton Watlington, and Klay Adkinson

September 25, 2017 - We are down to the last few days before Super Wednesday! Come enjoy a day on the square September 27 and help us kick off the upcoming Poultry Festival! We will be starting the day with the Fajita Lunch at 11am. The Doo Dah Parade will be at 4:30pm, followed by the Chicken Cooking Contest at 5pm!

Bring your family and enjoy the festivities! 

September 27, 2017 - The Center Fire Department is thankful for an anonymous donation which enabled them to replace their aging jaws-of-life. Fire Chief Keith Byndom said, “Because our jaws setup we had was old, we started having problems with it and we were looking at replacing our system. Someone stepped up and donated us the funds to be able to get a new system, we decided to go with a battery operated system.” Chief Byndom commented they chose the battery operated because it has a quicker response time due to it not having the larger power unit or the hoses for operation. The battery operated system is easier to load up and go as well as unload at the scene and get to work.

The new jaws-of-life is a combination system which cuts and spreads and has over 10,000 psi. It came with two batteries which have an estimated three month shelf life before needing to be recharged and has a minimum of a 45 minutes to an hour of continuous run time per battery.

The department was able to purchased the jaws which cost around $9,000 about a month ago. Thankfully they haven’t had to use the new system in the field; however, they are extremely thankful to have the new jaws because their use can mean life for someone trapped.