Neighbors compete for bragging rights at Battle of Byron

Sun News correspondentMay 1, 2013 

battle_of_byron

Womanless Beauty Pageant winner John Fyke, also known as “Flossie Peaches” and first runner-up Jason Adams, also known as “Amanda B. Reckenwith,” strut their stuff at last year’s Battle of Byron in North Peach Park. This year’s festival will honor the Kentucky Derby.

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BYRON -- There won’t be cannons booming or firearms blazing at the Battle of Byron, as some might think. Instead, it’s the day members of the community gather to do battle in events such as mud volleyball, banana relays, and balloon or egg tosses.

This year’s free event is Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at North Peach Park off White Road.

Because the Battle of Byron is honoring the Kentucky Derby this year -- since the derby is also Saturday -- there will be a special broomstick derby race for children and adults.

“On the same day they’re having their run for the roses in Kentucky, we’re having our own run for the roses right here in Byron,” said Karla Chidester, Battle of Byron event chairwoman. “But, yeah, ours is a little different. But we’ll have trophies and give out bragging rights to our winners. Plus, we’re having a parade-of-hats contest for men and women to see who can come up with the most creative hat.”

Also new this year, Chidester said there’ll be a team relay called the Soggy Jog. Each team will soak one pair of jogging pants in water, put them on, run their leg of the race, remove the soggy jogging pants then pass them on to the next relay member until the course is complete.

In addition to these and other wacky competitions, North Peach Park will be filled with food vendors, arts and crafts sellers and other attractions, including children’s rock climbing, a Thomas the Train ride and a zip-line for young and old.

There will be live music by the Sugar Creek Band and, of course, Battle of Byron’s annual car show with more than 100 cars expected this year, almost doubling the number at the show last year.

And candy. Chidester said there will be lots of candy to win and to give away.

“To me, the highlight is always the fun games and challenges we have for kids and adults,” she said. “I really like seeing everybody enjoying themselves. We’ve emphasized bringing back the neighborly challenges and competitions. It’s such a great community day for Byron and all of Middle Georgia just to be able to visit with old friends and make new friends.”

Chidester said it’s all for a good cause. Funds raised through event entry fees, vendor fees and other means are divided among a variety of Byron charitable and nonprofit organizations, such as Kay Community Center, Comforting Quilters, ICU Survival Kits Ministry, Byron United Methodist Church Good Samaritan Ministry, Compassionate Friends and Peach County Animal Rescue.

The Battle of Byron committee also is sponsoring a 5K run May 11, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Byron Municipal Complex. The committee also will host the Battle of Byron Chili Fest on Oct. 16 at Jailhouse Park.

For Battle of Byron information, contact Chidester at 954-4592 or karla.chidester@cox.net. Information also is online at www.battleofbyron.org.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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