The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce has a festive event planned for Saturday, Sept. 21 that will give new meaning to the phrase "slower Delaware."
The event is the inaugural Millsboro Country Festival and most of its activities will be held at W.B. Atkin Ball Park in Millsboro. The Country Festival is a hillbilly-themed affair featuring more than just inflatables with craft and food vendors. The festival hangs its hat on its whacky games and activities like the Flea Ridd'N Bed Races and Super Redneck Challenge Course.
In addition, headlining the Country Festival's concert will be Cooter's Garage Band, starring frontman Cooter from the classic TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard." The band plays at 7 p.m. at the ball park.
The opening acts will be The Dirt Road Outlawz at 1 p.m., followed by Randy Lee Ashcraft and The Saltwater Cowboys at 5:30 p.m.
Off stage, the famed General Lee car will be on display from 1 p.m.
The redneck events begin at 10 a.m. with Rust the Bucket Parade on Main Street. It's an event that rewards folks for having raggedy cars.
"We're looking for people to bring out their oldest, rustiest, most favorite rust bucket that they can push, pull, drive or drag through downtown Millsboro," said Amy Simmons, executive director of the Millsboro Chamber of Commerce. Trophies will be awarded to the top winners.
Next is the Flea Ridd'N Bed Races. The object of the game is to put wheels on a bed that you can ride from Dairy Queen to Blue Water Grill on Main Street. Any size bed can be used for the race, but it must be a mattress with wheels and box springs. Drivers cannot operate their bed with gas power. The top-three racers will earn trophies.
Most of the day's activities will take place at the ball park, starting with the Redneck Super Challenge at noon. The timed event features six whacky stations. Station one features trashcan bowling. Participants must use trashcans for bowling pins and tires for bowling balls.
Station two will be a hit for couch potatoes.
"We're going to have you seated and you'll have to throw a remote through a TV," Simmons said.
At station three, competitors will be tasked with "stacking cans in a certain configuration," she added. At station four, you'll have to hang up wet laundry on a close line. And at station five, contestants will then use the tires they employed for trashcan bowling to wheelbarrow them over the starting point. The challenge for the sixth and final station will be a surprise.
Page 2 of 2 - The participant with the best time in the Redneck Super Challenge will win a $250 gift certificate to In & Out Tires & Auto Care on Betts Pond Road.
One of the most coveted of the redneck activities will likely be the Mountaire Chickin' Pickin' game, scheduled to be held on the baseball field at 3 p.m. For this timed event, competitors must strip the meat off roasted chickens to fill up their pan. The winner with the heaviest pan will win $500.
Here comes Cooter
His real name is Ben Jones. However, many folks know him better as the famed mechanic Cooter from "The Dukes of Hazzard."
But Jones is more than just an actor. For years he's been the frontman of his group, Cooter's Garage Band. It's an outfit that stitches together a variety of styles including bluegrass, gospel, a little Cajun fiddle and Southern rock. Although Jones has performed in a number of musicals, he's long joked that he lacks vocal talent.
"I'm not a trained singer," Jones said during a phone interview with the Sussex Countian. "I'm an actor, so I act like a singer."
In all seriousness, Jones said he tries to bring a sense of the action and comedy from "The Dukes of Hazzard" into his performances every time he hits the stage.
"The whole thing is a hoot," said Jones, as he reminisced about the humor and adventure that brought longevity to "The Dukes of Hazzard." "We hope to capture all of that when we play in Millsboro."
Randy Lee Ashcraft, the lead singer in his namesake band that will open for Jones, has been a longtime fan of "The Dukes of Hazzard." Ashcraft says he's itching to see Cooter's Garage Band at the Country Festival.
"When ['Dukes of Hazzard'] was on, I was in front of the TV every week," Ashcraft said. "Im pretty excited."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Millsboro Country Festival
WHEN 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday
WHERE W.B. Atkin Ball Park, 262 W. State St., Millsboro
COST $5 for adults; free for kids ages 12 and younger; events on Main Street are free
INFO Visit millsborochamber.com or call (302) 934-6777