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Red Bay celebrates Founders Fest

Saturday’s Founders Day Festival was a big day in the City of Red Bay, with games, contests, vendors, music and more.

The day started with the King and Queen’s train ride, honoring the winner of the Founders Fest Pageant.

Russellville High School senior Sophie Hill, daughter of Tara and Eric Hill, was crowned the 2021 Miss Founders Fest.

“I am overwhelmed with joy,” said Hill. “Being in the Founders Fest pageant was a wonderful experience, and I will never forget it. Not only did I come home with confidence and a crown, but I left with new friends from northwest Alabama and Mississippi.”

Hill also participated in the Aug. 7 Northwest Alabama Distinguished Young Women scholarship program, in which she placed first alternate for the Franklin County division. She was a Gold Medalist for the North Alabama Skills USA job interview category, selected Miss RHS Best Interview in 2020 and 2021 and Miss RHS Best Eleventh Grade Talent and Eleventh Grade Representative.

Other distinctions include serving as Alabama Skills USA State Secretary for 2020-2021 and being a member of the National Career Technical Honor Society and the National Honor Society. Hill was awarded the Skills USA Statesman Pin at Alabama’s Joint Leadership Conference, is a recipient of the UCA Pin It Forward and is the founder and operator of the Russellville City Schools Cosmetology Department’s non-profit organization Kuts for Kids, as well as serving as president of the cosmetology club. She has also served as president of the Skills USA local club.

After high school, Hill said she plans to pursue cosmetology at Northwest-Shoals Community College and teach high school cosmetology.

“I am honored and blessed to be able to represent Franklin County during the annual Red Bay Founders Fest,” said Hill.

Hill is also a member of the RCS Career Technical Education Board, the Russellville City Youth Leadership Academy, RCS Career Technical Education Board, Russellville City Youth Leadership Academy, is a dance instructor and competitive dancer with Addie’s Flip, Tip & Tap and is a member of the Tharptown Baptist youth group and RHS Christian Students United.

First alternate was Makenzie Hester, daughter of Chris and Deanna Hester, of Red Bay.  Second alternate was Shaily Warren, daughter of Bobby Warren and Savannah Warren, of Red Bay. Third alternate was Addie Harper, daughter of  Kim and Scotty Harper, of  Tupelo, Miss.
Other winners included:

  • Baby Mr. Founders Fest Kamdyn Sullenberger, son of Cade and Sara Sullenberger
  • Baby Miss Founders Fest Blakley Belue, daughter of Matt and Ashley Belue
  • Toddler Miss Founders Fest Ivy Kate Creekmore, daughter of Dillion and Sydney Creekmore
  • Tiny Miss Founders Fest Riley Mae Springer, daughter of Jacob and Courtney Springer
  • Mini Miss Founders Fest Jaycee Wooten, daughter of Zachary and Mallory Wooten
  • Little Miss Founders Fest Regan Springer, daughter of Jacob and Courtney Springer
  • Petite Miss Founders Fest Carlee Jo Stewart, daughter of Alicia Wouldridge
  • Pre-Teen Miss Founders Fest Bailey Chrestman, daughter of Craig and Brandi Chrestman
  • Teen Miss Founders Fest DaRilee Colburn, daughter of Brandon and Sandra Colburn

In the fried pie contest, best-tasting winners were first place Linda Rains, apple; second place Marquita Prince, peach; and third place Deborah Townsend, peach. Honorable mention went to Geraldine Lucas, apple. Most unusual winners were first place Ponda Parr, coconut cream. Second place Marquita Prince, pumpkin; and third place Ponda Parr, chocolate. Best in show was Linda Rains, apple.

Other winners were also named in the following.


Eula Halcomb claimed best in show quilt and second place for hand-quilted. She also took second place for hand-quilted with traditional design and first place for hand-quilted with best color and design.

Cheryl Humphries won the Judges Choice Award and first place in hand-quilted traditional design.

  • Hand-quilting, first place – Deloris Davis and Jackie Credille.
  • Unique design or technique, first place – Gearldine Lucius.
  • Unique design or technique, second place – Joyce Orrick.
  • Best colors and design, second place – Joyce Orrick.


Second and third grade:

  • First place, Leslie Sandoval
  • Second place, Charlie Smith
  • Third place, Ryleigh Mims

Kindergarten and first grade:

  • First place, Hollie Durward
  • Second place, Jaxton Melson.
  • Third place, Finley Smith



  • First place, Glen Elrod
  • Second place, Holly McKinney
  • Second place, Melanie Dobbs
  • Third place, Lynette Horton
  • Third place, Greg Cook
  • Third place, Ponda Pharr


  • Second place, Debbie Cook.
  • Second place, Erin Strickland.
  • Third place, Debbie Cook.
  • Third place, Lynette Horton
  • Third place, Greg Cook
  • Honorable Mention: Glen Elrod

Outdoor/Environmental Activities:

  • First place: Ponda Pharr
  • Best in show: Ponda Pharr
  • Second place: Glen Elrod
  • Second place: Holly McKinney

Youth Category:

  • Dakota Fowler, second in Outdoor/Recreational, first in Outdoor/Scenic and Best in Show in Outdoor/Scenic


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