The 47th annual Dogwood Festival drew in large crowds on Friday and Saturday.
Longtime vendors told the chamber staff that Friday and Saturday were busier than all three days of last year's Dogwood Festival, according to Chamber President and CEO Arthur Hulbert.
"It was exciting to see the huge crowds that came to the Dogwood Festival on Friday and Saturday," Hulbert said. "I am thankful for the many people who made the event possible such as the many volunteers, sponsors, vendors, chamber staff team and collaboration with the city for electric, parking, and trash removal team."
Sunday saw fewer people due to severe rainstorms projected by the National Weather Service in Tulsa. Hulbert said city officials raised concerns over the possible storms so, out of an abundance of caution, the chamber told vendors that they could leave early if they chose to.
Several vendors did pack up Saturday night and left though a few chose to stay. Volunteers were also told late Saturday night that they could stay home Sunday and remain dry, according to a text from Lindsey Taylor, director of community development.
Despite the weather, people did show up Sunday to the festival and visited the remaining vendors and tents.
Friday and Saturday proved to be busy days with large crowds listening to music, participating in events like the pancake eating contest, Dogwood Doxie Relays and the duck race and visiting the various vendors at the festival.
This year's Dogwood Festival was emceed by Kamaron Rackleff and Erin Rowe, best known for their online program "Get To Know Siloam Springs."
New events for this year's Dogwood Festival were the pancake eating contest held at the center stage and the Dogwood Doxie Relays. The pancake eating contest was emceed by Mayor Judy Nation and divided into an adult and kids category.
Roman Blasingame won for the kids category while Noah Race, the sophomore football player for the Panthers, took first place in the adult category. When asked for a comment, Race shouted, "I love Siloam."
The Dogwood Doxie Relays, held at Bob Henry Park, was a Doxen-only event where the dogs competed for first and second place. The winners for the relay were Sully, who is owned by Savannah Crafton, in first place and Matt Wells' dog Tate, who won second place.
Originally planned for Sunday, the duck race returned for its second year on Saturday. The change was necessitated because of the incoming storms, Hulbert said.
The chamber released 1,000 ducks into Sager Creek from the bridge on West University Street and the ducks floated all the way to the bridge on North Maple Street where chamber staff were positioned to collect the ducks.
First prize winner of the duck race was the Siloam Springs Museum which won $250, Taylor said. Becky Harrier, a sales representative from Servpro, won $295 the previous month at Benton County Business After Hours and bought ducks for several nonprofits in town, Taylor said.
Other winners included Tyler Lor ($100); Juliana Faught ($50); Shepard Faught ($20); Linn Carlson ($15); Pearl Recovery Services ($10) and Jennifer McBride ($5), Taylor said.
Siloam Springs native Tori Miller, best known for her participation on "The Voice," headlined the music on Saturday evening while Dandelion Heart headlined on Friday. Northwest Arkansas bands Melody Pond and the Swade Diablos performed on Saturday afternoon.
The Butler Creek Boys and Mojo Bone were scheduled to perform on Sunday, but their performances were cancelled due to the weather. Other performances included the Siloam Springs High School Band and Maple Street Band on Friday.
Disney princesses were on hand Friday afternoon at the gazebo for fans. The princesses were part of a company called Put A Tiara On It, which is owned by JBU student Sofia Hedstrom, Taylor said.
This year's Dogwood Festival also saw the return of the car show. This year, the car show was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday on Broadway Street.
Contestants had the chance to win a 50/50 drawing where half of the went to the winner and the other half went was split between the police and fire departments, said Gaylene Ellis, the organizer of the car show.
The amount raised for the 50/50 was $350, Ellis said. Cheryl Kailer won $175 from the 50/50, Ellis said. The total raised by the entry fees were $2,610, Ellis said. The proceeds from the entry fees also went to the police and fire department, Ellis said.
"We are very thankful for two great weather days with huge crowds on Friday and Saturday and thankful the flooding was not as bad on Sunday as predicted and, most importantly, we are eternally thankful everyone was safe," Hulbert said.