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The 18th annual RC-Moon Pie Festival will be held Saturday in the town. The long-running festival has been rated a top 20 event by the Southeastern Tourism Society.
It began in the mid 1990s when a previous event, a somewhat generic country fair, was losing steam, and town merchants learned that the Moon Pie was about to celebrate a birthday. Rodney Simmons of the town's Chamber of Commerce approached Chattanooga Bakery for permission to promote a Moon Pie festival, and the company -- probably not expecting much -- granted it.
The rest is history, mixed with a good bit of sugar.
This year's festival will be highlighted by country singers David Frizzell (brother of the late Lefty Frizzell) and Jett Williams (daughter of the late Hank Williams) as king and queen.
The day will begin at 7 a.m. with the 17th annual RC-Moon Pie 10-Mile Run. The run, on a challenging, hilly course in what are often warm conditions, expects more than 900 runners ranging in age from 6 to over 70.
Food and craft vendors will open about 9 a.m., with food offerings ranging from barbecue to hand-squeezed lemonade and deep-fried Moon Pies. In addition to the visiting vendors, the town's regular shops will be open for business.
The Mid-State Cloggers will perform at 9:30 a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m.
The annual parade will begin at 11 a.m., followed at noon by the coronation ceremony for the king and queen.
At 12:30 p.m., a karaoke contest will be held, featuring Dewayne Haynes of Twisted Southern Sounds. Registration for the karaoke contest will begin at 10:30, and the cost is $10 per song. There will be first, second and third place winners.
Other afternoon games will include hog calling, a Moon Pie toss, an RC dash and Moon Pie hoops.
An all-day cornhole tournament will be held.
The annual World's Largest Moon Pie will be cut and served at 4 p.m., followed by the announcement of the karaoke winners.
RC Cola and Moon Pie, though independent products produced by different companies, have been inextricably linked in Southern culture, going back to the days when RC was served in a larger bottle than its competitors and Moon Pie was one of the largest snack items sold in stores. Hungry laborers would combine the two for a quick but filling lunch.