What one fan called “A party for 10,000,” will kick off in two weeks.
Friday, 3 p.m., May 31 the carnival opens at the 32nd annual Centralia Anchor Festival, which lasts until 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2.
The carnival- and games-driven, food- and fun-filled event has been sponsored by the Centralia Chamber of Commerce since its inception in 1987.
Tim Stevens, chamber president said he hopes people will come and enjoy the fun.
“If you’ve never been to an Anchor Fest before, this is the year to come,” he said. “We expect many of the downtown merchants to be open and if you get your fill of the rides, food and crafts, you can shop in our downtown, air-conditioned stores while you children enjoy the rides.”
This year’s carnival rides, provided by Tinsley Amusement, will feature the same quality of entertaining ride Anchor Fest goers have come to expect, said Ginny Zoellers, director of the Centralia Chamber of Commerce.
The fun Stevens mentioned includes live music, lots of live music.
The concerts open the same time as the carnival.
At 3 p.m., Kelly Stanford opens on the small stage on Centralia’s City Square Park, where the majority of the Anchor Fest action occurs. His music, described as “Southern Rock,” or “Outlaw Rock,” includes Seger, Skynrd and Haggard covers as well as his original tunes.
Also filling the air with good vibrations will be Jake Clayton at 6 and 8 p.m. on the big stage, and The Thunderbirds, from 9 to 11:30 p.m. on Singleton Street.
Clayton specializes in country, rock, and roots music.
The Thunderbirds describe themselves as a “Hard rocking high school band from Auxvasse Missouri…”
There is more to Friday night at the Anchor Fest than music. Don’t forget the parade. Lineup is 6 p.m., at the Centralia High School parking lot and will head north on ??? Street, then West on Singleton Street, then North on Allen Street, east on Railroad, concluding at Jefferson St.
The chamber is still accepting signups for the parade.
Saturday starts early with the Country Breakfast from 7- to 10 am., at the Frist Christian Church on Rollins St.
But don’t eat too much if you plan on participating on the 5-K Anchor Run. The starters gun goes off 8:30 a.m. on the north side of the square.
That is not the only Anchor Fest athletic event. Saturday at ?? p.m. there will be a pole-vaulting contest held at the Friendship Place parking lot.
Then at 9 one of Stevens’ favorites starts, the 3-on-3 basketball tournament, held at the courts at the intersection of Singleton and Collier. Stevens said it is a popular draw with a strong steady number of teams competing. If you haven’t been in a while, be ready to be impressed. “It’s a lot bigger than it was 10 years ago,” he said.
Then comes the singing of the national anthem on the town square, which will be sung three times over the three-day festival: 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Zoellers said the chamber is still looking for people to sing the National Anthem. Interested singers should contact her or Stevens.
Five bands will play Saturday at Anchor Fest.
A Side of Country, a classic country group, at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
The Finley River Boys, bluegrass, 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
Tonic Sol Fa, an acapella group, at 3:15 and 5:30 p.m.
Matt’s Family Jam, classic rock, country, top 40, pop rock, gospel, at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Brothers Image caps the night at the street dance from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
If the music is not enough, Saturday’s schedule also includes the antique tractor show at 10:30 a.m., the anchor driving contest, the state’s oldest, at 11; and the Mid-Mo Kats dance demonstration at 2:15.
The carnival runs from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., depending on the crowd.
Anchor Fest Sunday starts with one of the largest and most popular car shows in the state. Cars and motorcycles will be parked up and down Allen Street from the square north, West Singleton, Railroad Street.
Stevens said registration for the car show will be held at Alberts Shoe Repair and judging will be on Hickman street in front of IC Billards 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Car show registration forms are available at centraliamochamber.com, as well as the chamber office.
The Anchor Fest community worship service begins on the square 11 a.m., ending at noon. This year it will be organized by members of the Friendship Church
The carnival opens at noon and closes at 5 p.m.
Sunday’s musical entertainment starts at 1 p.m. with the Canote Family, a Christian group, followed at 2:30 p.m. by Sanctus Real, a contemporary Christian group.