The schedule for the 39th annual Fireant Festival has been released, with the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce planning to kick off the event Saturday, Oct. 9 starting at 7 a.m. with the Tour de Fireant registration.

“We are so excited to celebrate and do it in a safe way this year,” Executive Director Stacia Runnels said.

Due to safety precautions because of COVID-19, Runnels said that community members can expect a slightly scaled back version of the event this year, with a few regular items, such as the street dance, cancelled for 2021.

But the festival will feature a few new aspects this year, including a raffle benefiting a memorial planned for former Chamber Board President Tim Huff. The chamber will be raffling a 6.5 Creedmoor Browning Limited Edition Raffle at 1 p.m. during the festival, with tickets available for $20.

Additionally, Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth will be on site on Saturday, hosting the police’s annual National Night Out event during the festival.

The Marshall Police Department will have a booth set up throughout the festival, Carruth said, explaining “National Night Out is a valuable program that focuses on police-community partnerships; there is no better way to show that partnership than by joining our community in celebration at the Fireant Festival.”

The event opens at 7 a.m. with registration for the annual Tour de Fireant at the 200 block of West Houston Street. The race kicks off at 8 a.m.

Additionally at 8 a.m., community members can expect the vendor areas to start opening their doors, including the Christus Good Shepherd Health System Food Vendors, Texas Bank & Trust Product Vendor Areas, McKool-Smith vendor location, Sam Baxter Children’s Area and the Marshall Police Department National Day Out booth.

Additionally, the Piney Woods Farms and the LLC Petting Zoo, which are free of charge, will open, as well as the R&K Distributors.

The Tour de Fireant will be immediately followed by the Genesis Prime Care Toddler Trot and Kids K Races, followed by the Crossroads Baptist Church Bubble Party in Telegraph Park.

At 10 a.m., community members can experience the Patterson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Parade throughout downtown Marshall, before the Longview Orthopaedic FireAnt 5K Race, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m.

After the regular 5K race, events through the rest of the day include:

  • 10:45 a.m. – Genesis PrimeCare Diaper Derby for crawling babies (Telegraph Park)
  • 11:15 a.m. – Marshall Mavettes Performance presented by VeraBank
  • 11:30 a.m. – Marshall HealthCare Express Community Mascot Dance Off
  • 12 p.m. – Marshall Elks Lodge Beans Cook-off (Wellington and Austin)
  • 12 p.m. – Texas Rage Cheerleaders Performance presented by Sabine Mining
  • 1 p.m.– Marshall Elks Lodge Chili Cook-off (Wellington and Austin)
  • 2:30 p.m. – All Elements Heating and Air FireAnt Cupcake Battle (Joe Pine Coffee Co.)
  • 3:30 p.m. — Marshall Ford & Maverick Chevrolet FireAnt King & Queen Contest Awards (Main Stage)
  • 4:15 p.m. – Marshall Ballet Theatre performance, presented by Gecko Pest Control
  • 5 - 8 p.m. — Rusty Lug Nuts Car Show with extended Main Street Shopping Hours
  • 6 p.m. — 8 p.m. — Clint & the Cosmic Wake Musical Performance

Sponsors for this year’s Fireant Festival are Fidelity, Marshall Ford, Marshall Chevrolet, R&K Distributors, Christus Good Shepherd Health System, Gensis PrimeCare, Longview Orthopaedic Clinic, McKool Smith-Sam Baxter, Patterson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Texas Bank & Trust, All Elements Heating & Air, LLC, Gecko Pest Control, Sabine Mining, Vera Bank, Pine Woods Farms LLC, Rusty Tucker Sprinkler, Chris Fyffe PC, Branch’s Pest Control, Choice Dental, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Meadowbrook Funeral Home, Noon Optimist, Grasshopper Lawn Care and Chad Sims.

“We as always want to thank our many sponsors who help us put on this event every year,” Runnels said.

For more information on the upcoming Fireant Festival event, go to www.marshalltexas.com.

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City Reporter

Jessica Harker has been the city reporter with the Marshall News Messenger since 2019.