After a year's delay, Armadillo Festival back for 50th time

The carnival for the 50th World Famous Armadillo Festival began setting up outside the Ashley County Courthouse in Hamburg earlier this week. The festival will begin with an armband night at the carnival April 28. (VERSHAL HOGAN/News Observer)


The World Famous Armadillo Festival returns this week and while it has been 51 years since the inaugural 1970 festival, pandemic precautions that were in place last year mean this week’s fete will be celebrated as the 50th event.

“So many people have put in so much work this week to make the Armadillo Festival perfect for our community,” a Hamburg Area Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said on social media Tuesday. “Thank you to our amazing board and director for putting in so many late nights and early mornings to pull everything together. We can’t wait to host this awesome event for all of Southeast Arkansas.”

Festival entertainment begins Wednesday with carnival armband night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and continues through Saturday with food, live music, a street dance, arts and crafts vendors, and competitions.

Crawfish on the square starts the food fun at noon Thursday.

That day, Chester Huntsman and The Groove Diggers will take to the stage to provide musical entertainment from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Friday night boots will scoot and when the street dance kicks off at 6 p.m. featuring a photo booth and costume contest. A Chamber representative said those who attend should get together the best 1970s costume they can muster, and those with the grooviest getup will be awarded a prize.

Mr. Cabbage Head and the Screaming Radishes will perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by DJ Rojelio from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Saturday will offer a full day of happenings.

The day’s events will kick off shortly after sunrise with the annual pancake breakfast at First United Methodist Church starting at 6:30 a.m. Plates of pancakes, sausage, orange juice, and coffee available for outside dining or to-go will be available for $7 for adults and $5 for children.

The day’s musical line up features Haley Creek Boys from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the square; The Martins, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Main Stage; Ross Ellis, 7 to 8 p.m., Main Stage; Lainey Wilson, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Main Stage.

Adam Doleac will close out the Main Stage and the festival as a whole with a musical set from  10 to 11 p.m.

Other events on the schedule include a 5k/1 mile run, a car show, cornhole tournament, a pet show, hamburger eating contest, and frog jumping contest.

The armadillo king and queen’s court will be announced at 10:40 a.m. and the ever-popular armadillo contest will begin after the 1:30 p.m. weigh-in.

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