Morton’s Barter Day set for Saturday at Roosevelt

By JAMES PHILLIPS,
The end of the local community festival season is nearing, but area residents will have another opportunity to gather for fun, recreation, activities and fellowship this weekend at the 2018 Barter Day which will be held at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. 
Barter Day  was brought back to life six years ago through the team effort of the Morton Chamber of Commerce and State Representative Tom Miles. This is a fun filled family event­­ that helps promote beautiful Roosevelt State Park and gives local area residents the opportunity to enjoy fun and each other during a day in the park.  
Barter Day is a free admission event scheduled for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, October 13, at Roosevelt State Park. This community event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Roosevelt State Park and the Morton Chamber of Commerce. 
Most of the day’s activities and entertainment will be held at the ball field across from the Alfreda-Harris Lodge. In addition to all the activities scheduled for this year’s event, the festival will also be hosting the first annual Community Wide Yard Sale. 
“We felt this would be a great opportunity to add a community yard sale in addition to all of the other festivities,” said Miles. “Everyone can come together and clean out their houses, sheds and garages which offers another great addition to our annual event.” For anyone looking for a place to barter, sell, swap, buy or trade their  stuff this will be the place to be on Saturday.
“We have some new things this year and we are looking forward to seeing everyone come out and just enjoy a fun relaxing day at Roosevelt,” said Miles. “It will be a great family day to enjoy with the community and there will be activities for all ages.” He said the event has continued to grow in popularity since its return after a long absence. 
This year’s festival will include old fashioned games throughout the day, free bounce houses and slides for kids, a pumpkin decorating contest, chili cook off, car show and the antique tractors will be back again this year. Local entertainer Dancing Dan the Banjo Man will be performing throughout the day during this year’s event. Everyone is encouraged to bring their chairs, find a good spot and just enjoy the day with family and members of the community.
“After bringing this festival back six years ago we have had great feedback and it has once again become a wonderful annual event for the entire community to come together and enjoy,” Miles said. “It has grown a little more each year and we are continually looking for ways to improve it and offer even more activities while keeping the basic traditions intact.”
The Barter Day Festival has deep roots in the history of Roosevelt State Park, dating back to when former park manager Carl Harris helped create and organize the festival to entice more people to visit the gem of a state park in Morton. 
Organizers are still accepting reservations for vendors and will continue to accept vendor registrations through Saturday morning. There is a $10 booth reservation fee for all vendors. There is no charge for non-profit organizations and church groups who would like to reserve a booth for games, fundraisers or community outreach. For details and/or more information either contact the Morton Chamber at 601-732-6135, or visit FriendsofRoosevelt Facebook page and send a message with questions or contact information.
The first of what organizers described as “old fashioned” games will start at 10:00 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Some of the games include apple bobbing, food eating contest and musical chairs.
One of the signature events of the day is the chili cook-off contest. This annual cookoff will give local and visiting chili cooks the opportunity to show off their chili skills and give festival-goers a chance to sample each chili chef’s creation. Entrants are responsible for providing their own chili and at least a gallon size tub of chili to be sampled by festival visitors and judges. All chili will be judged in one category regardless of preparation method. There will be trophies and cash prizes awarded for first place, second place and third place. There is a $10 entry fee and teams may contact the Chamber in advance to register or upon arrival at the festival.
The Barter Day Festival will be a great chance for everyone in the family to enjoy food, friends, games, contests and entertainment all while enjoying a day at Roosevelt State Park. “We are extremely blessed and proud to have Roosevelt and this is a chance for all of us to enjoy the park as a community,” said Miles. Mark your calendar for this Saturday and join the rest of the community at Roosevelt State Park for the 2018 Barter Day Festival.
For more additional information call the chamber office at 601-732-6135.