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Waterfowl Festival set at Reelfoot

Waterfowl Festival set at Reelfoot

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 9:05 pm

 Fall away, fall away… The years fall away. Such is the pensive thought of Deborah Harris of Troy. It seems only yesterday that Bonnie and John “Son” Cochran helped organize the Reelfoot Lake Callmakers & Collectors Organization, host of the annual Reelfoot Lake Waterfowl Festival. Now, Miss Bonnie, as she was well known, and “Son,” as he was known, have passed away, and the callmakers organization and the waterfowl festival are in their 19th year. Mrs. Harris is a very active volunteer worker and her husband, Joel, is president of the organization. “Time gets away before you know it,” she said. This year, the waterfowl festival will be held Oct. 11-12 on Lake Drive in Samburg. “We are looking forward to it. It’s always a lot of fun,” Mrs. Harris said. “It’s not just people from here in West Tennessee and Missouri who attend each year. There are people from Florida and Louisiana and several other states, north and south, a wide variance of people. “Last year, we had about 5,000 people attend. It seems the crowds get bigger each year and the number of exhibitors, too.” The festival has a twofold thrust — duck and goose calling contests and a field of about 50 booths where exhibitors display their waterfowl-related wares:duck calls, goose calls, books new and old, photos, prints, clothing. These, and more. “We have a lot of artists and writers who attend, too,” Mrs. Harris said. Enthusiastic hunters, young and old, compete for honors in the Grand American Duck Calling Championship and the Reelfoot Lake Metal Reed National Championship. The winner of the duck calling contest earns $1,500 cash and the right to compete in the World Duck Calling Contest Nov. 28-29 in Stuttgart, Ark. A fish fry, sponsored by the callmakers organization, will be held for the exhibitors 4-6 p.m. Oct. 10 in downtown Samburg. Immediately after the fish fry, an auction will be held to raise money for the callmakers organization, which is a nonprofit organization. Mrs. Harris said this year’s festival includes a demonstration of “the duck thing” — “Yes, that’s what he named it” — by a young man from Paris. “It’s something electronic you actually put out in the water,” she said. “I can’t wait to see it.” For more information about the festival, call Mrs. Harris at 536-0266 or Larry James at (731) 286-5366. Published in The Messenger 9.22.08

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