Contest added to Chilton County Sesquicentennial celebration

Published 12:49 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County turns 150 this year, and a number of festivities are being planned.

Organizing committees have recently added a contest component to the Oct. 21-27 weeklong celebration, reminiscent of one that was held in 1968 for the centennial celebration.

A beard contest and fashion show of 1868-1870 style apparel will be held sometime during the week. An exact date is still under discussion, but organizers want potential participants to have plenty of time to prepare.

“I think it is a good way to get the public interested … It gives them a way to participate, rather than just attending our event,” organizing committee co-chair Derric Scott of the Chilton County Historical Society said.

He said a beard contest for a number of categories had been held as a part of the 1968 celebration.

In addition to longest beard, winners were also named for best groomed, most unique, blackest, whitest and reddest.

“It was a very popular thing,” Scott said. “It was something everybody remembered.”

Scott said these same categories will be used for this year’s competition.

Another memorable component of the centennial was people dressing in attire from the year of the county’s founding in 1868.

“It was something that was remembered fondly,” Scott said. “We have had questions every time we talked to people that remembered the old event, they always asked about … ‘Is everyone going to be required to grow a beard?'”

In 1968, men without beards were “arrested” and “put in jail” until they made a donation to charity for a “no-beard permit.”

While Scott said it will not be a requirement like it was in 1968, the hope is that there will be good participation.

Attire from the era when Chilton County was founded will be highlighted in a fashion show open to anyone who wants to participate.

Scott this would be the Victorian era dress, so a little research may be required to get it right.

“We would encourage other organizations and churches to have dress-up type events,” Scott said, commenting that this was common during the centennial year.

The culmination of the celebration will be on Oct. 27 with the Goose Pond Gala at Clanton City Park.

A Living History, parade, car show, quilt exhibit, museum, art show and live music are also scheduled for Oct. 27.

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