Star Staff Reports
Goat Days is a fun and funky community festival jam packed with things to do and experience for the whole family.
International Goat Days draws over 35,000 participants and spectators from throughout the United States for this multi-day community festival.
Whether it be the KCBS Championship BBQ contest, arts and crafts, equestrian events, car show, Kids Zone, great music and food or the tractor show and pulls that bring you to Goat Days, the goats will always be the main attraction!
In addition to the Babe Howard and Robin Cotten Memorial MGR Goat Shows, the Tennessee Dairy Goat Association will be on hand with demonstrations, milking contests and more. You are welcome to bring your own “Billy” or “Nanny” and enter the Kids on Parade with prizes for the silliest goat, best goat look-a-like and funniest goat. What? You don’t have your own goat? No worries! You can “rent” one from the Tennessee Dairy Goat Association that is already trained to walk on a lead. It is also rumored that Millington’s famous Painted Goats will also make an appearance at the annual event.
The event kicks off with The World’s Greatest Goat Parade at 5:30 p.m. on Friday followed by Opening Ceremonies for the 27th Annual Event. Festival gates will be open from 6 –10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday. Other Friday night fun includes the crowd pleasing West Tennessee Mini Pullers, Woodstock Saddle Club Horse Show, Rock the Goat – Battle of the Bands benefiting Millington Middle School and Millington High School Bands, Hot Air Balloon Rides, Line Dancing Hoedown Throwdown, Tennessee Dairy Goat Association Milking Demonstrations and Goat Obstacle Course Demonstrations, Myotonic Goat Registry Babe Howard Memorial Goat Show, Arts and Crafts benefiting the Millington Arts Council, Business and Civic Group Vendors, the Kid Zone benefiting Millington Kiwanis Club, Antique Tractor Show, KCBS Championship BBQ Contest benefiting Operation BBQ Relief and more. There will be three entertainment stages at the event featuring a variety of performances.
The entertainment lineup on Friday includes Standup Comic Jeff White – voted the Funniest Man in Memphis, 2009, the Groove Factor and musical headliner, Duke Henry and the Way Down South Band with Memphis Blues Legend Earl the Pearl guest performer sitting in with Duke Henry on the BBQ Stage in the Cooking Village.
Saturday is packed with even more activities from the time the gates open at 7 a.m. for the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast through the finale at 10 p.m. The entertainment planned for Saturday includes the El Toro Taco and Hot Rod Barn Show and Shine Car Show and swap meet benefiting the Millington Crisis Center, an Antique Tractor Show and Parade, the ever- popular Dixie Irons Tractor Pull, amazing Model Aviation Demonstrations by the Barnstorms throughout the daylight hours, Hot Air Balloon Rides in the morning and evening and the KCBS Championship BBQ Contest including a Dessert Contest, Kid’s Hamburger Contest, Dutch Oven Cobbler Contest, and more that is open to anyone. Saturday also features a catch and release Fishing Rodeo for all ages organized by the Memphis Variety Club, the Kids’ Tractor Pull, a Powder Puff Pull for the ladies, a Horseshoe Tournament, a Corn Hole Tournament, Arts and Crafts and hands-on-art experiences and more. Multiple Boy Scouts of America Troops will be participating at Goat Days this year. Troop 61 of Covington, of the West Tennessee Area Council led by Scoutmaster Jimmy Haynes and Senior Patrol Leader Micha Bricco will perform a Flag Retirement Ceremony in the Cooking Village at 7 p.m. If you have an American Flag that is worn to a condition in which it should no longer be used to represent the nation, bring it to the Cooking Village on Saturday and it will be formally retired Saturday night.
Old West Special Trails, a non-profit organization that gives all kids regardless of physical or financial need, the opportunity to know and love horses, is partnering with Calvary Rodeo Productions to host a free Rodeo for the whole family to enjoy on Saturday evening.
The Old West Special Trails Grand Entry Team will present an exciting tribute to America to open the rodeo and a spectacular drama performed on horseback at half time. Mutton Busting begins at 6 p.m., the Free Rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Donations are welcome and will support the incredible programs offered by Old West Special Trails including free weekly horseback riding classes to children with special needs, patients from St. Jude, Veterans, elderly who live in nursing homes, abused women, children suffering from depression, inner city youth and more.
The stage performances at Goat Days this year will knock your boots off! Music on Saturday begins with bluegrass picking with The Wisemen at the Sit A Spell Tent, Millington Elementary School, Middle School and High School Choirs, Rachel Wortham and the Dream Coach Singers, followed by Dance Groups, the Mary Stiles Band, Stage Hypnotist Frank Lee and musical headliners Jeff Dane and Ian Scott Hill in Concert and another opportunity to see Country Music Outlaw, Duke Henry and the Way Down South Band.
For the goat enthusiast, The All Things Goat Area includes the second Myotonic Goat Registry show, Goat Milking Demonstrations, Goat Obstacle Course, Goat Care Presentations and more. Of course if you have your own goat, bring it for the Kids on Parade. If you don’t have your own goat, no one is left out at Goat Days. The Tennessee Dairy Goat Association will let you “rent” one of theirs for the Kids on Parade.
The 27th Annual International Goat Days Festival is presented by the City of Millington, in memory of the Babe Howard – the event founder, and sponsored by Republic Services, Ritter Communications, Homer Skelton Ford and Homer Skelton Chrysler Dodge Jeep and many Millington area businesses and individuals. The festival admission is free.
There is a $5 per carload parking fee. Make plans to attend this fun and funky community festival that raises money for a variety of charitable, non-profit organizations in the area. For more information, contact Millington Arts, Recreation & Parks at www.millingtontn.gov, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InternationalGoatDaysFestival?ref=hl or call 873-5770.