Annual festival heats up

Published 12:39 am Wednesday, May 9, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Beautiful babies, creepy crawlers and talented singers were all on the loose Saturday at Atmore's annual Mayfest at Tom Byrne Park.
Executive director of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, Emilie Mims, felt Mayfest went great this year and that all the activities were a hit.
"I felt like overall it was a really good event," Mims said. "The Idol competition was the event that attracted the most people. The addition of the Idol competition kept people at the stage. The Beautiful Baby Competition always has a great pull."
Chamber president Nancy Helton agreed that the competition between the babies is a success every year.
"The Beautiful Baby Contest is always a big draw," Helton said.
There were 80 babies entered in the Beautiful Baby Competition and there were eight winners and seven runners-up. The 3 months to 11 months winners included, Ella Wade Caraway and Cody Chunn and runners-up were Amya Jones and Tayshawn James. The 1-year-old winners were Chloe Biggs and Brodie Rolin and runners-up were Alexandria Catherine Brantley and Robert Stanley. The 2-year-old winners included, Danny Protsman and Brenton Williams and runners-up included Victoria Isabel Dixon and Wesley Blackmon. Three-year-old winners were Jykeria Wilson and Lathon Owens and the runner-up was Kennedy Jones.
The Gulf Breeze Zoo was also on hand at the Mayfest celebration with its Zoomobile loaded with a snake, a red-tailed hawk, an alligator and a hedgehog.
"The Zoomobile was great," Mims said. "They brought an interesting collection of animals. The animals were really a big hit. Not only did the kids enjoy it, but the adults also enjoyed touching the animals. Of course, we appreciate Alabama Power for sponsoring that."
Another event that Mayfest offered was a photography contest sponsored by First National Bank &Trust. Individuals in grades six through 12 from throughout the county and surrounding areas were able to display their artwork. The winner of the contest won $100, second place won $50, third place won $25 and there were five honorable mentions that received a complimentary photo session at Captured Moments Photography in Pensacola, Fla.
The winner of the photography contest was Decarae Turner, a sixth grade student at Ernest Ward Middle School. Second place went to Escambia County High School senior Kellie McGhee. Third place and two honorable mentions were honored to home schooled senior Melissa Moore.
T.R. Miller High School 11th grader Drew Lambert, T.R. Miller High School 12th grade student Kendall Land and W.S. Neal High School 11th grade student Rachel Jernigan were the other three honorable mention winners.
Helton showed appreciation for those who came to Mayfest, including all sponsors and vendors.
"I would like to thank everyone who came out," Helton said. "All sponsors, the city, all volunteers and the Idol judges. I want to thank everyone who participated. Mayfest has been a city tradition that people look forward to. It adds to our quality of life and it's just a fun-filled day. I appreciate everybody enjoying it and their willingness to come out."

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