The Dogie Days celebration is back.  A huge crowd braved the heat Thursday in McDade Park to eat traditional barbecue served up by smiling Lions and volunteers.

Dogie Days returned live and in person this week offering everything Moore County residents and visitors alike have come to love:  curly fries, hamburgers and other carnival foods, a community barbecue, rides, games, a parade, fellowship, and the drawing for a new vehicle, among other things.  "I think there is a lot of excitement this year," said Lion Milton Pax, Dogie Days Old Timer for 2021.  "People have been cooped up and with it being cancelled last year, I think people are really looking forward to it."

The midway at McDade Park opened Wednesday at 6:00 pm marking the start of this year's festivities.  The first major event was the barbecue on Thursday, also in McDade Park.  The Lions had slowly cooked 9,000 pounds of meat in trenches filled with burning wood and prepared beans, onions, peaches, and other foods.  A massive crowd showed up at lunch time ready to eat.  Despite temperatures close to 100 degrees, people seemed genuinely happy to have Dogie Days back.  Those who purchased tickets for the barbecue receive a chance to win the Chevrolet Silverado pickup that will be raffled off Saturday night.

The excitement over the return of Dogie Days has been reflected in raffle ticket sales, according to Lion Pam Cox, chairman of the ticket sales committee for the Lions.  As of Tuesday, the Lions had sold $51,165 worth of tickets, including $4,400 worth sold in New Mexico this past weekend.  Lion Chad Henry and others put the vehicle on a truck and took it to events in New Mexico to sell chances to win.  Lions Club Sweetheart Paloma Zamarripa will pull the winning ticket out of the hopper at about 9:00 pm Saturday, the last day of Dogie Days.  Tickets for the vehicle raffle will be available almost up to the minute of the drawing.  They are $5 apiece or 5 tickets for $20 or 30 tickets for $100.  The truck will be at the midway from Wednesday on.  Tickets will be available at the midway, from individual Lions, or at businesses displaying a "Tickets Sold Here" sign, including the Moore County News-Press.  The drawing will be Zamarripa's last act as sweetheart before turning the job over to her successor, Jayden Ritchie.

The midway opens every night at 6:00 pm except Saturday, when it opens at noon.  The parade, always a popular event, begins at 11:00 am Saturday at 1st Street and Dumas Avenue.  It proceeds down Dumas Avenue and comes to an end at the south end of town.  

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