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Gopher Hill Festival was 'biggest yet'

The 46th annual Gopher Hill festival kicked off last Thursday with children wearing costumes and parading down the street, followed by participants racing tubs down Main Street in Ridgeland. There were also several pets taking center stage during a pet show and many showed off their talents during the talent show.

“This is the biggest festival yet,” festival chairperson Linda Dailey said. “The weather was great and the crowds were amazing.”

The big event of the weekend was the parade as the grand marshals, all three of the oldest businesses in Ridgeland, led the way.

The marshals included Sauls Funeral Home, Sheffield Oil Company and State Farm Insurance Agent Tommy Rhodes. All three had their families with them as they paraded through town on their floats.

Some newer residents decided to attend the festival for their first year this year.

“I moved here from Minnesota last year, but wanted to catch the parade and the festival this year,” Dinah Phlueger, a Ridgeland resident said. “This is a nice festival, reminds me of my hometown.”

Jerry Hogue, a native of California, was also attending his first Gopher Hill Festival. He said the festival was also similar to the kinds he grew up attending.

“I’ve been to smaller parades like this one,” he said. “It has a hometown feel to it.”

The festival continued throughout the day Saturday with vendors and entertainment for all ages.

“We had another successful year, and we appreciate all of those who came out and supported the festival,” Dailey said. “We are already looking forward to next year.”

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