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Is your skillet-tossing arm ready?

Conway’s annual Festival of the Hills returns  this weekend

Recorder file photo
Thirty-one men and 26 women participated in the perennial favorite skillet toss at last year's Festival of the Hills in Conway.

Recorder file photo Thirty-one men and 26 women participated in the perennial favorite skillet toss at last year's Festival of the Hills in Conway.

CONWAY — For half a century, people have lined Main Street in the fall to watch things like runners speed past, neighbors split logs and friends stack pumpkins.

This weekend, Conway will hold its 52nd Festival of the Hills in downtown.

Events at the free festival include book signings, a wood-splitting contest, local music, a midday parade and games, as well as historic, crafts and agriculture displays.

New this year is the Northwest Junior Racing Pigeon Club, which will allow children to write messages and release a pigeon carrying the message.

On Sunday, the festival will kick off at 10 a.m. with the Covered Bridge Classic Adult 10K road race and children’s 1.2-mile road race. Registration is from 9 to 9:40 a.m.

In the town center, the Conway Historical Society will have an open house until 3 p.m. Sunday. The Field Memorial Library will host an art exhibit for local artists.

In the Town Hall, exhibits include Boyden Brothers Maple Syrup products and displays from Friends of the South River and Chestnut Lot Farm.

Local authors will sign books on the ball field from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

At 1 p.m., the parade will march down Route 116 to the town center featuring the Franklin County Technical School Drum Corps and Frontier Regional High School marching band. Afterward, Karen’s School of Dance will perform in front of the library.

Playing on the town ball field will be musicians Ronald Meck and Son, Katryna Neilds and Friend, Belle Ami, Joanie Schwartz and Janet Ryan duo, the Valley Divas, the Boxcar Lillies and the Conway Grammar School chorus.

At 2 p.m., also on the ball field, the popular skillet toss will attract a crowd.

The festival has a long history. In 1962, Conway held the first festival, which was inspired by a July 1915 celebration of patriotism and peace between America and Great Britain, according to the festival’s website.

The festival was organized to generate money for the town’s 1967 bicentennial. These days, proceeds go to support scholarships for local high school students.

For more information, visit www.festivalofthehills.com.

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