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Ferris builds new festival

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RUSTY WELLER
Ellis County Press Managing Editor
FERRIS - Most any excuse seems to do for annual celebrations in Ellis County. But not in Ferris. Not any more.

Brick by brick, Ferris is building a new festival uniquely tailored to the community's history, yet ideally suited for Ferris' future.

This Saturday, April 28, the first-ever Ferris Brick Festival begins what city officials hope will be an annual tradition. Sure, it will have many of the attractions of other celebrations. Yet this festival definitely will be one of a kind.

If you don't know about 'the city that bricked the world,' stop by the booth for a quick lesson in Ferris' brick history. For fun, brick-tossing and -hauling competitions will highlight the day. For information, a brick-laying demonstration is scheduled. Various contests will reward winners with 'brick bucks' to be redeemed at community merchants.

The festival, sponsored by the Downtown Association and the Ferris Main Street Program, offers a Little Mister and Little Miss Ferris Brick pageant at 2 p.m. Competition is open to Ferris school district children age 5-10.

The day begins with the 5-kilometer Brick Run downtown at 9:30 a.m. All participants will receive commemorative T-shirts, with $200 worth of brick bucks going to the fastest runner. Entry fee is $10 for adults and teens, $5 for children 12 and under.

Live entertainment will resound from the gazebo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring the Texas Dixieland Band as well as local performers.

A talent contest is planned, and a scavenger hunt will send entrants scurrying through participating merchants in search of needed items.

A chili cook-off and cake bake-off also will spice the festivities. No entry fee is charged for either competition, but entries will be sold. Recipes also are being collected for a future Downtown Association cookbook.

And, like most festivals, the event will offer carnival-type games and booths of crafts and antiques.

The Ferris City Council and new Keep Ferris Beautiful organization intend to continue the brick theme in beautification projects. Residents are being asked to donate unbroken Ferris-imprinted bricks for downtown restoration efforts.

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