The annual Catfish Festival is set for this weekend, with an even bigger lineup of vendors and activities than ever before as well as a nationally known country band scheduled to perform.

The big news is that Shenandoah, holder of many no. 1 country music hits, will be headlining the city’s annual festival.

The group is best known for its songs such as “The Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South,” and “Two Dozen Roses.”

Plans are to have the concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the open space across from City Hall.

This is the first year that the Burnside Chamber of Commerce and Burnside Tourism Commission have been able to team up and work together on the event, as this year the Tourism Commission had adequate funds to pitch in, explained Patty Guinn, a member of both organizations. The extra financial juice provided the opportunity to get the well-known country band to come to the festival.

Other events to be held Friday night through Sunday will include the first ever 10K bike ride, a beauty pageant, a parade, horseshoe tournament, square dancing, karaoke, Burnside Little League games, Mustang Mafia Car Show, the 2-to-5-year Tricycle/Training Wheels Bike race, gospel music, Corvette Show, antique show. Contests will include a watermelon eating contest, horseshoe tournament, catfish eating contest, the $500 catfish cookoff, catfish tournament and tall fish tale. Children can also enjoy an inflatable play land, pony rides and a petting zoo. And don’t forget the fireworks show at the end of the day Saturday.

“We’re hoping it will be the biggest and best we’ve ever had,” said Guinn.

One significant change is the decision to have the parade on Saturday morning instead of Friday night, done for the convenience of parents. She said that they currently don’t know how many people will be in the parade, although participants are expected to include the Pulaski High School ROTC, the Shriners, fire departments, horses and cars, and of course, Berney the Catfish.

Guinn said they have seen more interest than ever before, especially with vendors — so far, 42 vendors are set to take part in the festival.

Events throughout the day will be spread around town from Cole Park, Hwy. 27, the City Hall area and East and West French Avenue.

Guinn said parking will be at each end of town with shuttles to transport people to the center of Burnside. She said they will start parking down by Lakeshore Pharmacy and when that side of town gets full, they will begin to park people down at the other end.

“I’m really hopeful that it will be really good,” said Guinn.

For more information about the Catfish Festival, call Guinn at 561-7104 or Judy Hatterman at 561-7170, or visit the Web site at

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