Newborn’s annual Horneyhead Festival takes place Saturday, and the unique event is a fitting choice for a place that labels itself “A Town with Characters.”
The annual celebration is packed with more events than ever and features a horneyhead chub fishing tournament, tree climbing, vendors, music, BBQ, horneyhead T-shirts and a parade led by the Horneyhead Queen.
For those wondering what exactly a horneyhead chub is, it’s a small, minnow-like fish with little bumps, or horns, on its head that’s commonly used for the unflattering job of bait fish.
However, in Newborn, the fish is treated like a queen. Not the Horneyhead Queen; that’s an actual person, of course.
The festival kicks off at 8 a.m. with the fishing tournament, which is broken up into four age groups: 3-10, 11-13, 14-18 and adult. Winners will be judged on the size of the fish as well as the number of horns on its head.
The youngest entrants will receive a free official bamboo horneyhead fishing pole, according to Linda Williams Woodworth, one of the event’s organizers.
Registration takes place at the Newborn Community Center, 4326 Ga. Highway 142.
Woodworth said variety of vendors will have crafts, plants, antiques, treats and bargains galore and will open up to the public at 8 a.m. Mansfield-based Where There’s Smoke BBQ & Catering will be selling barbecue as well.
Starting at 10:30 a.m., the musical performances will begin, led by local favorites Johnny Roquemore — who will unveil his original Horneyhead Fish song — Dennis Fincher and Steve Biggers.
Another popular activity is the tree climbing; Arbor Equity of Covington will bring its tree-climbing gear so attendees can climb to the top of the oak tree by the community center, also known as the Old Schoolhouse.
At noon, the second annual Horneyhead Queen will be announced.
Residents were able to cast ballots or vote online for the queen during the past few weeks, and the winner will also kick off the day’s culminating parade at 1:30 p.m.
Woodworth said the parade would feature the winners from the fishing tournament, local officials, antique tractors, golf carts, tricycles and anything or anyone else who wants to participate.
Proceeds from the festival will go to support continued upkeep of the Newborn Community Center. The festival will be held rain or shine, Woodworth said.
For more information, go to newbornschoolhouse.org/hornyhead-festival.html.