Aug. 24 and 25 on the Mexico Village Square

The date of this year's Mexico Jaycees Soybean Festival has been changed and an extra day has been added to draw more local and out-of-area attendance and participation.
The annual event, held in July last year, is being held Friday, Aug. 24, and Saturday, Aug. 25, downtown on the Mexico Village Square. By adding the extra day and more activities, organizers say, this year's event will be "even more fun and exciting" than in years past. Amateur and professional barbecue contests with monetary prizes, 5k and 10k runs, an antique tractor show and more children's activities are just a few of the changes made this year.
"We wanted ways to bring in more people," said Jason Young, president of the Mexico Jaycees, sponsors of the annual event. Many of the traditional events such as the baby show, Little Mr. and Miss Soybean and the Mexico Idol contest will return, along with live concerts on Saturday night. Changing the date, Young said, avoids conflicts with other community activities and hopefully means more local and out-of-area residents will attend the festival.
Following are some of the highlights:
Friday, Aug. 24
5:00 -11:00 p.m.: Beer and wine garden open.
5:00 p.m.: Barbecue contest registration begins. Cash prizes will be awarded in both classes for best type of meat (pork butt, beef briskets, ribs and whole chicken) and overall class winner. Top cash prize in the professional class is $900 and $600 in the amateur category. For more information, contact Cameron Oliver at (573) 253-0630, or the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce at (573) 581-2765.
7:00 p.m.: Barbecue competition begins
9:00 p.m.: DJ music in the beer and wine garden.
Saturday, Aug. 25
7:00 a.m.: 5k/10k run registration
8:00 a.m.: 5k/10k run begins
8:00 a.m: Baby Show registration
9:15 a.m.: Baby Show contest begins
9:30 a.m.: Little Mr. and Miss registration
10:00 a.m.: Children's activities begin
10:00 a.m.: Tractor Show registration. Ribbons will be presented to the top three tractors in each class and trophies will be awarded to the three entries deemed Best in Show. All tractor entries are encouraged to participate in the parade. For more information, contact Oliver at 253-0630 or the Chamber at 581-2765.
10:15 a.m.: Barbecue judging begins
10:30 a.m.: Little Mr. and Miss contest begins
1:00 p.m.: Parade lineup. Area high school and middle school bands, civic and social organizations and individuals are welcome to march or ride in the parade. Tractors, floats, horses, bicycles, and walkers are also urged to enter. No candy can be thrown from floats or vehicles in the parade. All candy must be handed out.
2:00 p.m.: Parade begins
3:00 p.m.: Mexico Idol registration
3:30 p.m.: Mexico Idol begins
7:30-10:30 p.m.: Live concerts begin
The event schedule is subject to change. A complete schedule and updates can be found on the website All entry forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce, 100 W. Jackson.
Entertainment this year invites two area bands, The Flood Brothers and The Hipnecks and the Whip Cracking Dare Devils – the only whip cracking act in North America.
The Flood Brothers have been playing together since 2000, and started a band with Kent Burnside, the oldest grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside, as Kent Burnside and the New Generation in 2006. During the years of 2006-2010, the band played regularly on the blues circuit at many venues, including The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, Calif., and the House of Blues in Chicago.
The Hipnecks have a sound that has been called a "jambalaya" by the press and "country fried jam" by fans. Their blend of music is rock and roll with hues of bluegrass. Their debut album in 2005 was "Just Another Fine Day."
"Both groups are known for captivating their audiences," Young said. Both concerts are free to the public and will be set up on the Village Square.
Young urges everyone to come out and enjoy all the activities planned. Proceeds from the 5k and 10k runs will go to autism research, and proceeds from all other events will be given to Audrain County Buddy Pack program and local scholarships.
"The Jaycees have always been there to help our community, different organizations and people in their time of need. I feel what we do makes us feel good and Mexico a better community altogether," Young said.
As long as space is available, vendors applications will be accepted up to the day of the event.