POTTSBORO — A little fog and mist did not stop the Frontier Day parade from making its way down FM 120 Saturday morning. Hundreds of event patrons made their way into Friendship Park in Pottsboro before the opening entertainment started.
Due to the rain, the festival’s carnival was moved to the Pottsboro Plaza parking lot and the 75 vendors set up around the park. And even with the cool weather, people were still lining up to participate in the Frontier Day Festival’s annual bug-eating contest.
“This festival has been around for a long time, but this event is just like the lunchtime favorite,” contest coordinator Amanda DeFir said. “It’s become more of a fun, spectator sport. You have the pet parade. You have the community parade that kicks this whole thing off and this is just a lunchtime favorite.”
Bobby Hancock, the reigning champion of the bug eating contest, took home first prize again after his meal of barbecue and cheese insects.
“The bug are always the same,” DeFir said. “We get them from a place in Richardson. They are the gourmet hydrated cooked flavored bugs. We love them.”
Coming in second place was Brianna Hanes. Third place went to Brittany Dotson and Sarah Proctor took home fourth.
“I think what has drawn so many good competitors is a challenge of eating a bug,” DeFir said. “It is a macho thing. We had three ladies get up there and it was a close second, third and four. It is the fun of it. It’s the excitement of eating bugs and doing what no one else will do. They are brave. It is a fun time.”
Cathy Chambers, originally from Dallas, moved to North Texas many years ago. She said she always likes to support community events so even though it was raining, she still wanted to see Saturday’s entertainment.
You do not see bug eating in the big city,” she said. “I have lived up here a lot of years and my husband was not into this kind of thing, but I lost him a few months ago, so I am looking for things like this to do. It is so nice. I just love it.”
Steve McFarland manned the Denison Elk’s Lodge’s drug awareness booth at the festival. He said that the group has had a booth at the event for thee years.
“It is a good thing to try to give the people in the community the knowledge of what to look for when it comes to substance abuse,” McFarland said. “It is not just for the kids. It is for the parents as well. We cover everything from smoking to hard-drug use. We want people to know what others may be dealing with so they can recognize the signs. If we can help one kid out of a million, that is all we need.”
He also said that it is important that as the Texoma community, everyone supports the community in happy times like Saturday’s festival as well as sadder times.
“We are all neighbors and we need to be here together,” he said. “We are friends and we need to look out for each other.”