It is time again for the Hornyhead Fishing Tournament and Festival in Newborn. It will be this coming Saturday, April 29. With the competition for catching the winning fish starting at 8 a.m. This will mark the 31st time the Festival has been held.
The roots of the festival can be traced back to the Newborn Hornyhead Fishing Association founded by Albert Ozburn Jr. almost four decades ago. Each spring as he drove his postal route out of Newborn he would keep his eye out for good fishing places. When the time was right, he would gather some the youngsters of the community and go fishing for the fish known as the Hornyhead. Ozburn died in 2010 but with the Festival his tradition lives on.
The story is that Buddy Rowe, a Taxidermist who had move to Newborn from Atlanta, thought this was a great tradition that should be kept. This year’s festival is the 31st time that the tradition has been kept alive. The Hornyhead is not a big fish, but catching them can be fun for all ages.
If you are asking yourself, “what in the world is a hornyhead fish”, you are probably not alone. It is a member of the minnow family. It is about five to seven inches long. Some may think of this as only bait for bigger fish, but at the Hornyhead Fishing Tournament it takes on a whole new meaning.
It is said to get its name “hornyhead” from the little bumps that appear on its head. Come and take part in the festival and do something that probably none of your friends from other parts of the state or nation have ever done. The day promises to live up to the promotion. It is all about a little fish and big fun.
A lot has grown round the morning of fishing, which starts at 8 a.m. There is competition in three age groups, 3 to 10 year olds, to 11-15, and if you are older enough to get a driver’s license you are counted an adult and there is not an age ceiling in this last category. There is also an overall winner. That prize goes to the one who caught the largest fish with the most “horns”. There is a fee and you can register at hornyheadfishfestival.com. On the website you will find a map to some fishing hole with directions to roads to take.
If you plan to fish, know you will probably get a little wet and muddy. It is recommended to use a six foot cane pole with a eight foot line. It is also recommended to us a 10-16 size hook with just a bit of worm on the hook. You will find other suggestions for fishing on the website.
At the historic Newborn School House, for four hours starting at 10 a.m. there will be will vendors selling their arts and craft. Get there early that morning, before heading out to fish, for breakfast. During the festival there will be food vendors also. Live music will be featured.
Other events will be a crowning of the Horneyhead Queen and hula hoop contest. The winners of the fishing tournament will be announced in time to join if they wish in the parade at 1 p.m. You are invited to join in the parade. You can go to www.hornyheadfishfestival.com to register for the Parade.
They welcome those that want to walk and wave, as well as those that have a classic car to show off or want to ride their bike, motorcycle, or tractor. You are even invited to bring your dog or goat or pig. You need to register but there is no fee to enter. You can register for the parade at the website.
You will also find at the web site, the list of food venders. This by the way is a rain or shine event. It is a great way to spend a spring Saturday.,
All of the money raised at the Festival has in the past helped repair the historic Newborn School House. Funds will continue to be used for the upkeep of this community center. On Tuesday, April 11, Ralph Staffins, President of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, led a ribbon cutting for the newly refurbished facility.
There is in the School House a small museum to previous winners of the tournament. The address for the School House is 4326 Highway 142 in Newborn. The Newborn Area Heritage Trust is responsible for the scheduling events at the old school house.