(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves)
"We've got more than 900 runners signed up," said Joe Sheetz, president of the Bell Buckle Chamber of Commerce. "It's going to be awesome."
Registration begins at 5:30 a.m. and the race begins at 7.
The run is only the beginning of one of Bell Buckle's most popular events. The rest of the day will be filled with entertainment, from cloggers to country singers; arts and crafts vendors; a recipe contest; a parade; games; and the cutting of the world's largest MoonPie.
The recipe contest was brought back this year and the only requirement is that the recipe has to include either RC Cola or MoonPies, if not both. The dishes have to be turned in by noon and the judging takes place at 1 p.m., and while the winner may be taking home an empty plate, he or she will also be taking home $100.
"It's going to be a lot of fun, especially for the judges," said Sheetz. "I'm hoping I'm a judge!"
The theme of this year's parade is "Patriotism," so joining celebrities such as this year's Moon Pie Queen and King Anne Holt and Justin Bruce of WKRN, as well as Mrs. Tennessee and Mrs. United States, will be veterans of the armed services.
The contests and the games are family favorites. The contests spotlight those who traveled the farthest, the youngest, the oldest, and so on.
The games separate the champs from the chumps when it comes to watermelon seed spitting, racing with an open RC Cola on your head, and tossing MoonPies.
"The hula hoop contest, that's a good one," said Sheetz. "You have to eat a MoonPie and drink an RC while hula hooping."
Entertainment will be provided throughout the day, and will include local favorite Kacey Smith, as well as the Mountain Cove Bluegrass band. "They're sponsored by the Chattanooga bakery that makes MoonPies," said Sheetz.
He said there will be food vendors set up and lots of MoonPies and RC Colas for everyone, including pieces of the world's biggest MoonPie, which will be cut by the Knights of the MoonPie Round Table at 3:30 p.m.
There's no admission fee for the festival. "Just lots and lots of fun," said Sheetz.