United Way of Greater Texarkana hosted its much anticipated event Battle on the Border and chili cook off Saturday September 7, 2017 at the Spring lake Park splash pad. All proceeds for the even are going to benefit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
This is a program being initiated by United Way and partnered with many civic organizations in the area with the goal of putting books in the hands of every newborn, every month until the age of five, in Bowie, Miller, Little River and Cass Counties.
The gates of the festival opened at 12 p.m. and events lasted until 8 p.m. Tom Whitten, Bowie County Commissioner, opened the ceremonies. Allie Grave, Miss North Texas Teen gave a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem to kick off the festivities.
“We would like to thank the City of Texarkana, Texas for being extremely cooperative in promoting and assisting with the event,” said Mark Bledsoe, President and CEO of United Way.
There were several live bands playing through the day at the festival, including: Relentless, Taryn & Jase, The Chad Suttles band, Joel Dale & Friends, and Encore.
Other happenings at the event included book reading to children 5 years and younger by mascots from area schools. A chili cook off completion also took place as well as a hoola hoop, washer pitching, and dance contest. There was also a wine and beer garden which also helped raise money for the casue.
There were over 30 food and merchant vendors in attendance. Home Depot provided arts and crafts for kids to do. Many local civic clubs were in attendance promoting their clubs and causes they support.
One Vender in attendance, Gypsy Jules, owned by Julie Smith, and Arrow Treasure Designs, owned by Nicole Fowler, shared a booth and both specialize in making a lot of different homemade items. Fowler says they enjoyed getting to spend the day meeting different people in the community.
“The atmosphere was very family friendly, and the live music was wonderful,” said Fowler.