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Red Bay prepares for Founders Day with pageant, contests

Founders Day is coming Sept. 25, and a few special events are helping generate excitement as the festival approaches.


The annual Red Bay Founders Day pageant will be held Sept. 19 at the Red Bay High School Auditorium at 2 p.m.

“We normally have from 30-50 contestants,” said pageant host Kay Thorn. “Kings and queens receive a crown, custom sash and Founders Festival T-shirt. Three alternates in each division receive a trophy, and contestants who do not place receive a participation medal.”

Divisions for boys include ages 0-2 and ages 3-5. Girls’ divisions are 0-11 months, 12-23 months, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years, 8-9 years, 10-12 years, 13-15 years and 16-19 years.

Participants do not have to be from Red Bay.

Kings and queens will be recognized at the festival and will be treated to a train ride to kick off the day’s events.

Thorn said this is her seventh year to host the pageant. She said many contestants return each year, either to compete again or to assist with crowning.

“The crowns and other awards are nice to receive,” said Thorn, “but the boys and girls gain a lot of confidence from getting dressed up and modeling in front of a large crowd, and I admire every contestant for putting themselves out there and going across the stage.”

To register, contact Thorn at 662-424-3822 or Registration can be completed the day of the pageant, but contestants must arrive by 1:15 p.m.


The City of Red Bay and the Franklin County Extension will host a number of contests in conjunction with the annual festival, including the coloring content for children.

The coloring contest consists of coloring in this year’s design for the Founders Day festival logo. The contest is open to children in kindergarten through third grade.

The entry form must be filled out and attached to the back of the coloring sheet. Entries can be delivered to the Franklin County Extension office, located in the basement of the Franklin County Courthouse, or Red Bay City Hall by Sept. 22.

For questions about the coloring contest, call 256-332-8880.


Hosted by the City of Red Bay and the Franklin County Extension, the 12th annual Founders Day Photography Contest will follow the theme, The Year of the Outdoors.” Entries should be delivered to Red Bay City Hall Sept. 22 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • The contest will take place at Weatherford Library, 307 Fourth Ave. SE in Red Bay, at 8:30 a.m.
  • Two age groups – adults, 19 and older, and youth, 18 and younger, may enter.
  • Each person may enter two of the three categories: Outdoor Recreational, Outdoor Scenic or Outdoor Environmental Activities.
  • Photos must be in color.
  • Only one photo per entry.
  • Prints must be a minimum of 5×7 inches and no larger than 18×18 inches.
  • Entrants may use film or digital camera.
  • Photos should be mounted flat on plain white or black poster board or foam board. Mounted size may be no larger than 20×20 inches.
  • Fill out the informational sheet and attach it to each photography submission.                     
  • Do not include titles or other information on the front of mounted board.
  • Photos must have been taken by the contestant submitting the entry.

Photos in each category will be judged for first, second and third places. Winners in each category will be awarded a cash prize and ribbon as follows: first place,$50; second place, $30; and third place, $20. Best in Show will receive $50 and a plaque.

Photographs will be displayed during the festival at Weatherford Library, and they may be picked up at Red Bay City Hall Sept. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Quilts for the 12th annual quilt contest may be delivered to Red Bay City Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Quilts will be judged Sept. 24 and will be on display during the festival at Weatherford Library.

  • All quilt entries must be clean, free of odor and pet hair; constructed of fabric – three layers: top, batting and backing – and unframed or stretched on another material.
  • All quilt entries must have a label attached to the back. The label must include at least the name of the maker(s), address, telephone number, age category and year completed.
  • Quilts must be constructed and quilted by the person(s) named on the entry form only.
  • There is no age restriction for judged entries. There will be two age divisions: adult, ages 19 and older, and youth, ages 18 and younger.
  • All quilts must be quilted by either hand or machine. No tied quilts or comforters will be accepted.
  • Quilts must have been made in the past five years and must not have been exhibited during the 2020 Founders Day Festival quilt contest.
  • There will be a number of exhibition categories: pieced, appliqué and mixed/other in hand quilted, machine quilted or hand and machine quilted formats, as well as small/wall quilts.
  • Awards will be presented for first, second and third place in hand quilted, machine quilted, hand and machine quilted and small/wall categories: $60 for first, $40 for second and $20 for third. Awards will also be presented for Best in Show, $50 and a plaque, and Judges Choice, $40 and a plaque.

Quilts will be displayed at Weatherford Library. All entries must remain on display for the duration of the quilt show. Although every precaution will be taken to protect entries, neither the City of Red Bay nor the Franklin County Extension will be responsible for any damage or loss.

Quilts may be picked up Sept. 28 at Red Bay City Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Submit entries Sept. 25 from 11-11:20 a.m. at the Bay Tree Park Gazebo. Judging will begin at 11:30 a.m., and winners will be announced during the festival.

Anyone can enter. Entries must consist of four pies, displayed on a paper plate and covered in plastic wrap.

Entries must include name, address and telephone number on the bottom of the plate.

Prizes will be awarded in three categories:

  • Best Tasting: first place $100, second place $60 and third place $40.
  • Most Unusual: first place $50, second place $30 and third place $20.
  • Best in Show: $50 and a plaque


  • Buck Dancing: To enter the buck dancing contest, contestants must be at the stage in the park at noon Sept. 25. The contest is open to anyone who would like to enter.
  • Giveaways: Immediately following the buck dancing contest, giveaways will be held for oldest in attendance, youngest in attendance, largest family and farthest traveled.

For more information, contact Franklin County Extension Coordinator Katernia Cole Coffey at 256-332-8880.

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