October 6, 2022 - (Photo Album - Sponsored by Focused Care At Center) - The 46th East Texas Poultry Festival is officially up and running with the opening ceremonies sponsored by Focused Care of Center. Josh Payne, Festival Chair, welcomed everyone to the Frances Oates Stage under the "Big Tent" and introduced ceremony participants.
He introduced Hollie Adams, Focused Care At Center Executive Director of Operations, and introduced Malcolm Monroe, First Methodist Church of Center Pastor, to give the invocation. Center High School Roughrider Band then performed the National Anthem, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance as led by Timpson Elementary students.
Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge, extended a greeting to all, "Welcome to the beautiful Shelby County Historic Courthouse square. It is truly an honor to be here this morning. The festival brings all the citizens in the county together to celebrate the poultry industry, which is a vital part of the county's economy. I feel so blessed to live in a small county that is made up of wonderful friendly communities, especially during the last couple of years."
Judge Harbison challenged everyone to help make the world a better place, to be kind and considerate to one another and extend greetings to strangers, as well as opening the door for someone at a store, because it's the little things that make the community great.
David Chadwick, City of Center Mayor, welcomed everyone to the festival and commented on how the Center square is most alive every year during the poultry festival. He invited everyone to have a fantastic weekend.
"The weather is absolutely perfect, our vendors are ready for us, food I can already smell the grease and feel the pounds. Rides are moving faster, if you'll notice it's exploded this year, we've taken in the side streets. I believe we have an event going on!"
Roger Doyle, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone to the Poultry Festival sponsored by Farmer's State Bank, "I want to thank the city and the county for allowing us to have the festival here. I ask that you be mindful and respectful as you move around and keep our square beautiful."
Doyle thanked Josh Payne and the Steering Committee, as well as Deborah Chadwick, Chamber President, Center Noon Lions Club, Shelby County Chamber Ambassadors and Junior Chamber Ambassadors.
"An event like this doesn't just happen, there are lots of people involved, there's lots of work going on, there's lots of fussin' and cussin' and sometimes that's just committee meetings," said Doyle to an audience responding with laughter. "We're glad that all this has come to a head and we are here to enjoy this weekend and celebrate this most important industry in our community [with] the Poultry Festival. So have a good time, we have great weather and enjoy."
Payne then introduced the East Texas Poultry Festival Queens Court members and they were Queen Sayre Hall, Julie Bird, Bethany Kilpatrick, Leah Watson, Bella Alford, Carson Crouch, and Braileigh McDaniel. Shelby Chick Parker Chase was also introduced.
Then the moment everyone was waiting for, Queen Sayre Hall then cut the feathers and the festival was declared officially open.
The Queens Court then performed, "I Saw It on the Facebook," with Danny Paul Windham.