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Ferlin Husky sign dedication ceremony Saturday

LEADWOOD – Country singers Leona Williams, her son Ron Williams, Norville Dollar, Route 67 and others will perform this weekend at the sixth annual Leadwood Fall Festival. Admission is free.

Members of the late Ferlin Husky’s family will perform with Leona Williams Saturday night, and will participate in a dedication Saturday morning naming part of Missouri 8, “Ferlin Husky Highway.” The three-day event includes a parade through town and a variety of vendors and games at the city park.

“This could not be done if it was not for our sponsors,” Mayor John Hartley said. “We appreciate the sponsors who make this possible. We’re looking forward to it.”

The festival begins at 6 p.m. Friday with the opening of carnival rides and vendors’ booths. At 7 p.m., Route 67 will perform in the evening’s pre-show. Ron Williams and fiddler Jade Jack will take the stage at 8 p.m.

Festivities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the West County High School with the dedication of the section of highway and the sign ceremony. The Missouri Department of Transportation will be on hand and the governor has been invited. State Rep. Linda Black, who submitted the bill for the name change, and other local, state and federal officials have been invited. Several of Ferlin Husky’s family will attend and at least one is expected to speak. The section of Missouri 8 runs approximately from Hunt Street to Route M.

The ceremony is scheduled at the high school instead of the highway for safety reasons. The school holds the display case of Husky’s memorabilia, which the singer donated to the city. His last appearance was in January, when he sang “Wings of a Dove” during a program in his honor. The 85-year-old Parkland native died  in March.

At 10 a.m., the parade will begin on Pine Street and will travel to the park. Nearly 80 entries have signed up, Hartley said. After the parade, the city will hold a 15-minute flag ceremony. Country Fire Cloggers will perform during the afternoon Saturday. There will be a petting zoo, a magic show by Corona, and a barbecue on Saturday by the local Masonic Lodge.

Several bands will provide live music throughout the day. Kevin Lewis and Blue Grass Reunion will perform from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by Open Range at 12:20 p.m. Roy Whaley and Ambush take the stage from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Grand Ole Opry performer and Missouri native Norville Dollar performs from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dollar, born in Hematite and raised in Festus, has performed with stars including Loretta Lynn and George Jones. He hosted the weekly Norville Dollar Show on KPLR-TV, Channel 11, in St. Louis, during the 1960s and again in the mid-1970s. Dollar retired from the music business until his wife died in 2006. Dollar used music to help him deal with her death and eventually released a CD, “Through the Years With Norville Dollar.”

Route 67 will be back on stage at 7 p.m. for the evening pre-show. Headliner is Leona Williams, who performed at last year’s festival. Members of the Husky family will appear with her in tribute to their father.

Sunday’s events begin at 10 a.m. with a community church service under the tent. All are welcome. At 1 p.m., the horseshoe tournament begins. Cost is $10 per team. Competitors may sign up before the tournament.

Karaoke will be available throughout the day for anyone who wants to sing. The festival ends after the tournament, probably about 5 p.m., Hartley said.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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