Festival draws more than 100 visitors so far

More than 100 vendors have signed up to participate in this year's Funtastic Fourth Festival, sponsored by Alon USA and the Downtown Revitalization Association.The event is planned for Saturday, July 2 in downtown Big Spring and will feature live bands, a pet parade and pet contest, hot dog eating contest, food and wares vendors, a washer pitching tournament, children's play area and more, according to organizers.The festival will get under way at 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies, the pet parade and washer tournament. Activities will continue all day and into the evening, with rising country star Mark McKinney taking the stage at 10 p.m. Also performing during the day and evening will be Las Vegas entertainer Ike Jackson, The Von Straubs, Live It, Bianca Mercedes, Xtremo, BuZZkill, Jared Thomas and the Vagabonds and Lenorah.Organizers are enthused that more than 100 vendors have indicated they will sell wares at the festival this year. “To try and get as many people as possible, we are doing a one-time thing this year. With the exception of food vendors, anyone who wants to have a booth at the festival this year can do so for free,” said Christy Brorman, DRA president. “We do need them to contact us in advance, though.”Anyone interested in setting up a booth can contact Linda Burchett at 432-816-9381. Food vendors are welcome to participate for a $150 fee. They also need to contact Burchett to make arrangements.The DRA has established a teen board in an effort to get more youth involved in the festival. Teen volunteers between 15 and 18 are needed to help with several tasks — working in kids zone, manning the water booth and helping with the hot dog eating contest. Those interested should contact Taylor Brorman at 713-826-7741 or Jessica Womack at 432- 213-3826. “People are really stepping up right and left. I think this will be the biggest event we've ever had,” Brorman said.