For 72 years, Johnson County has celebrated the peach.
The celebration will continue July 25-28 as Clarksville gears up for the 2013 Johnson County Peach Festival, centered around the Court Square, 215 Main St. in Clarksville.
Vendors will set up July 25, offering wares from home cookin’ to handmade arts and crafts, according to Nancy Hamma, secretary of the Johnson County Peach Festival Association.
The festival kicks off with a Scavenger Hunt at 10:30 a.m. July 25, with a Banana Split Contest set for 4 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church basement.
At 5 p.m. July 25, the "Johnson County Has Talent" competition will commence on the courthouse steps, followed by Praise Band Night in the Methodist Church parking lot. Thursday wraps up with Cinema on the Court Square at 8 p.m.
Hamma said festival-goers can plan to stay all day July 26 as vendors and craft booths open at 9 a.m., along with the Arkansas Game & Fish Mobile Aquarium. The Diaper Derby, with divisions for ages 6-9 months and 10-12 months, kicks off at 9 a.m. July 26, followed by the Bicycle Obstacle Course, for ages 5-15, at the fairgrounds at 10 a.m. Also at 10 a.m., Helicopter Tours will be offered for $25 on the grassy area behind the library.
A skateboard competition will be held at 11 a.m. July 26 at the Skateboard Track at pool park, with the Peach Cobbler Bake-Off and Jam and Jelly Contest slated for noon at the courthouse.
The Peach Pie Eating Contest, with divisions for ages 1-7 and 8-12, is set for 1 p.m. July 26 at the courthouse, followed by the Frozen T-Shirt Contest, for ages 1-7 and 8-12, at 2 p.m. Kids’ Zone will take place at 3 p.m. July 26 in the Methodist Church parking lot.
Friday concludes with live entertainment by the Eric Mathews Band at 7 p.m., followed by the free street dance featuring the music of "On the Verge."
A 4-mile Run/Walk at 7 a.m. kicks off activities for July 27, with the Fishing Derby also set to begin at 7 a.m. at Cline Park; the derby will have age divisions for children ages 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
At 8 a.m., the USSSA Men’s and Women’s Softball tournament will get underway at the Vinson Center Saturday.
As the vendor and craft booths and the Mobile Aquarium open at 9 a.m. Saturday, the Greased Pig Chase will commence for three age divisions — 5-6, 7-9 and 10-12 — at the court square, followed by the "Great Celebrated" Johnson County Frog Jump at 10 a.m. on the court square.
Kids’ Zone will start at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Methodist Church parking lot as more Helicopter Tours are offered for $25 at 10 a.m. on the grassy area behind the library.
The Terrapin Derby, for children up to age 12, will commence at 11 a.m. at the court square, and the Cars On the Creek by the Clarksville Antique Car Club will begin at 11 a.m.
Peaches are once again the star of the show as the Peach Pit Spitting Contest takes place at noon Saturday on the court square, followed by the Peach Eating Contest for ages 1-7 and 8-12 at 12:30 p.m.
The Egg Toss is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the court square, with the Water Balloon Toss to follow at 1:30 p.m. The Cardboard Boat Regatta will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Legion Hut, with Barbershop Music scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, festival-goers will line Main Street to watch the parade, which begins at Cline Road near the fairgrounds.
The Diplomats, along with the Bean Trio, will be featured during the 7 p.m. concert at the Clarksville Fine Arts Center and a street dance featuring a local disc jockey will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday on the court square.
Registration for the Horseshoe Pitching Tournament begins at 9 a.m. July 28 at Cline Park, with the Horseshoe Pitching Tournament set to start at 10 a.m. Sunday, wrapping up the annual festival.
For information, call (479) 754-9152 or visit www.jocopeachfestival.8m.com.