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story.lead_photo.caption Sally Ince/FULTON SUNChildren rush to take their first bite of watermelon during the watermelon eating contest at the annual Tebbetts Comunity Picnic in 2018. Each child recieved a prize after finishing.

The annual Tebbetts Picnic and Muttonfest kicks off this weekend at the Community Center in Tebbetts.

The event, scheduled for Friday through Sunday, is raising funds to support the Community Center.

"It's going really good," Sam Richards, event coordinator, said. "We really get a lot of help, and that really involves the community, and that's why I do it."

The events begin at 5 p.m. Friday with a classic and muscle car show followed by some live entertainment from the Mackey Family and Dan Smith.

Activities will pick up at 8 a.m. Saturday with the "Travel the Gravel" 5K. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and there is no entry fee. Water will be provided during the race and a biscuit and gravy breakfast will be available for purchase afterwards. The flat course will begin on the Katy Trail, continue on graveled county roads until coming back onto the Katy Trail and finishing at the Turner Katy Trail shelter.

Following the 5K, there will be a pie baking contest for amateur bakers. Entries are due at 1:30 p.m. and judging will begin at 2 p.m. Each contestant must bake one pie in a disposable 9-inch pie pan for judges to taste. Pies must not require refrigeration before serving. All pies must be made from scratch and turned in with a complete ingredient list, recipe name and the contestant's name. The pie auction will start at 5 p.m.

At 3 p.m., an antique tractor show is slated; then, the FlatFootin' Follies will perform, followed by The Cunninghams.

A Kiddie Tractor Pull will be held at 5:30 p.m. with five age groups: ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12. First and second prizes will be given out per age group.

The night will end with some country music from Mark & Sara from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Sunday festivities open with church at 10 a.m. Worship will be led by the Dixie Christian Church, the River Circuit United Methodist Churches and South Callaway Community Church. From 11 a.m.-noon, there will be country and gospel music for guests to enjoy.

The day closes out with the annual fiddle contest at noon. Registration starts at 11 a.m. There are four divisions: youth with 17 and under, pre-open for up to 30, open for any age and senior for 60 and older. There is $1,600 in prize money for first, second and third places. Each place will receive cash and a trophy. Each fiddler will receive a $10 food voucher to use at the food stand.

"The fiddle contest has been going on pretty much since the beginning of the picnic, and it was coordinated by Kenneth Polly Burre," Robert Mackey, event coordinator, said. "He continued that until 1999 when he passed away. And then we went 15 years without it. In 2014, Jim Buffington kept it going until 2018, which is when I picked it up. It's been a long tradition, an old time fiddle contest. It's a good event; it keeps the traditional style of fiddle music going."

There will be food stands available from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Stands will have a wide variety of items: mutton, fish, pork steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade potato chips, ice cream, funnel cakes and more. The beer stand will be open all weekend from 11 a.m. to close with beer, 5 percent bottled drinks, soda and water.

The Tebbetts Community Club is also hosting First Friday Night Dinners to help raise money for the center. Food will be picked up in a drive-thru style from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 1; they will be serving barbecue pork steaks, hot dogs, green beans, scalloped potatoes, slaw and dessert. On Nov. 5, they will have smothered pork loin, green beans, mashed potatoes, slaw and dessert. And then on Dec. 3, there will be a fish fry with hot dogs, green beans, scalloped potatoes, slaw and dessert.

"We just hope people come out and enjoy it and the food," Richards said. "There will be good people around, and that's what we're about."

For more information, go online to www.tebbetts.org or call Sam Richards at 573-295-4786.

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