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story.lead_photo.caption News Tribune fileChildren rush to take their first bite of watermelon during the 2018 watermelon eating contest at the annual Tebbetts Comunity Picnic. The annual event is back this weekend after canceling last year.

The annual Tebbetts Picnic and Muttonfest returns this weekend at the Community Center in Tebbetts.

The event's history dates back to 1948, though it was canceled last year due to pandemic. It raises funds to support the Community Center, located at 5544 Missouri 94.

Friday kicks off at 5 p.m. with a classic and muscle car show followed by live entertainment from the Mackey Family and Dan Smith.

Saturday will pick up at 8 a.m. with the Travel the Gravel 5K. Registration starts at 7 a.m. on the Katy Trail.

Following the 5K, will be the pie baking contest. Entries are due at 1:30 p.m., and judging will begin at 2 p.m. Pie auction will start at 5 p.m.

The antique tractor show and the FlatFootin' Follies are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday followed by The Cunningham's.

Later in the evening, there will be a kiddie tractor pull at 5:30 p.m. and country music tunes from Mark & Sara starting at 6:30 p.m.

The weekend festivities wrap up Sunday with open church at 10 a.m. Worship will be led by the Dixie Christian Church, the River Circuit United Methodist Churches and South Callaway Community Church.

The day closes out with the annual fiddle contest at noon. Registration starts at 11 a.m.

"The fiddle contest has been going on pretty much since the beginning of the picnic, and it was coordinated by Kenneth Polly Burre," event coordinator Robert Mackey said. "He continued that 'til 1999 when he passed away, and then, we went 15 years without it. In 2014, Jim Buffington kept it going until 2018, which is when I picked it up. It's been a long tradition, an old time fiddle contest. Its' a good event, it keeps the traditional style of fiddle music going."

There will be food stands available from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Stands will have a wide variety of items: mutton, fish, pork steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade potato chips, ice cream, funnel cakes and more. The beer stand will be open all weekend from 11 a.m. to close.

Along with the weekend activities, there will be children's games and rides available; gun, gun safe and quilt raffles; a flea market; vendors; a silent auction; and a Historical Society booth with old time pictures of Tebbetts and steamboats.

For more information, visit

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