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24th Annual Pontotoc Bodock Festival Takes Place This Weekend

This weekend Pontotoc County Chamber of Commerce will host the 24th annual Bodock Festival. The festival will feature pancake breakfast, bike ride on the Tanglefoot, a car show, a pet show, live music, arts and crafts, a children’s corner and more! 
“The 24th Annual Bodock Festival to be held this weekend in Pontotoc has evolved into an enjoyment of all ages,” says Ellen Russell, director of the Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Association.
Russell has served as the director of the Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce for 11 years and is working with co-chairmen, Ashley Clowers, and Beth Waldo to help the Bodock Festival continue to grow.
“The festival started in 1993 as a common goal of several citizens to have a unique festival that would bring all the citizens from Pontotoc county together in a community reunion type of way. We wanted to highlight our arts & crafts and different forms of art whether it was in music or painting also our Chickasaw Native American background,” Russell said.
When people who are not from Pontotoc first hear about a Bodock Festival, they are confused about what a Bodock actually is.
While doing some research on Pontotoc County, the founders of the festival discovered that the town had “the champion Bodock tree,” which is the largest Bodock tree in Mississippi.
The history behind the tree began when Native Americans of the Chickasaw embarked upon the Bodock in the Pontotoc area.  The bark of a Bodock tree has a lime-yellow color, in the shape of a softball, which oozes a gluey substance.  Historians say the bark was used by Native Americans to make their bow and arrows. Since the Bodock is such a sturdy and strong wood, it was even used by farmers for their posts to keep their cattle in.


The events will kick off early Friday morning at 6 a.m. with the annual Pancake Breakfast held by the volunteer fire department of Pontotoc, and that Friday evening there will be a welcome from the city and county members.
On Saturday, many events will take place such as the 100k, 50k, and 10k bike rides on Tanglefoot which will start promptly at 8 A.M.  
An art gallery will be open from 10 A.M.-2 P.M where local artists can display their work and children can paint as well.  
Children will also be able to take ride the Bodock train throughout the festival, and the newest addition to the festival will be where children can draw in chalk on the court square.
Following the bike rides will be an antique car show, entertainment from Mississippi Queen, blues bands, and local talents from 1 P.M. to 6 P.M.  The entertainment will continue with singers Hannah Roy and Kayla Clayton at 6 P.M.  
For the grand finale, at 8 P.M, American Idol winner Trent Harmon of Amory, MS will perform.
Pontotoc native Eric Tucker talks about how the Bodock Festival is a tradition for his family.
“My family and I have been to the Bodock festival several times. We usually try to purchase a t-shirt each year to keep as a memento. A couple of years ago my wife, our youngest daughter and I visited and made our way to the petting zoo area. It wasn’t long after my daughter’s birthday, and she had money left over that she wanted to spend. Right as we were about to leave she found a vendor selling hermit crabs and purchased two. That was four or five years ago, and she still has them,” Tucker said.
Ellen Russell holding Bodock

Russell encourages people from surrounding areas to come and see what all Pontotoc has to offer. She emphasized on how parking will be their main concern for the festivities.
“Parking is going to be one of our primary interests and ensuring that we have parking for everyone; the police department has worked very diligently in making sure we have parking for every event; they recommend that people carpool,” said Russell.
Russell hopes that people will enjoy the festival and become more familiar with the Pontotoc area.
“The streets will be people-friendly so bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the evening with us as we listen to good music and fellowship,” Russell said.
Events will take place acorss the Pontotoc. For locations of every event, click here

Italiana Anderson is an intern for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at iganders@go.olemiss.edu

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