James Sawford, of Otterville, prepares to drive his McCormick diesel tractor to the staging area prior to the start of the 49th annual Smithton Town and Country Fair Thursday evening. This year’s parade was one of the largest in the history of the fair, according to Greg Wehrman, parade chairman and director of the fair board. More than 90 entries were a part of the parade this year.
Pettis County Eastern Commissioner Brent Hampy leads a long line of entries down Sassafras Street as they make their way to their destination at Smithton High School. A number of elected officials and candidates for office take part in the parade each year. The parade is one of the first events hosted at the Smithton Fair each year.
Pettis County Division 5 Associate Circuit Judge Jeff Mittlehauser hands out candy to the large crowd who lined the parade route near the Smithton School grounds. Most of the activities, including the tractor pull, pig dressing and super farmer competition, are hosted at the school. The 49th annual Smithton Town and Country Fair began Thursday and ends Saturday.
JR Walter is dressed in vintage clothes as he rides a motorized bicycle during the Smithton Town and Country Fair Parade, Thursday evening. The bicycle was rebuilt and customized by his uncle, Lou Atkinson. The bike is a 1903 replica racing bike.
Kathryn Waters of the Smithton Baptist Church walks beside a group of members from the Ringen Brushy 4-H Club as they ride on the back of a flat-bed trailer during the Smithton Town and Country Fair Parade Thursday night. Many of the members of the 4-H Club will show their livestock during the three-day event. The fair began 49 years ago as a way to showcase the livestock and agricultural talents of the youth of Pettis County.
Pettis County Associate Circuit Division 6 Judge Paul Beard takes a spin on a velocipede during the Smithton Town and Country Fair Parade Thursday evening. Smithton residents Cindy and Paul Williams served as grand marshals of the parade this year.
The Bunko Babes, a group of area women who play the popular dice game, Bunko, the second Wednesday of each month, ride on a float in the Smithton Town and Country Fair Parade, Thursday evening. Most of the “babes” are lifelong Pettis County residents who have remained friends throughout their childhood and adult lives. This year marked the 10th Anniversary for the group.
Jordan Sawford, leads three generations of his family as part of the Smithton Town and Country Fair Parade Thursday evening. His father, Tom Sawford, drives in the middle of the three and grandfather James Sawford is the third in line during the parade. The Sawford family has owned and operated their family farm in rural Otterville since 1881.