The Smith River Heritage Association's largest event turns 10 this year and will celebrate the occasion with shopping cart races, lawn mower races and - new this year - a bucket brigade contest.

The annual Smith River Days festival starts with a pancake breakfast, which benefits the community's volunteer fire department as well as a parade featuring Smith River School's Wildcat Band and drill team. Vendors will be selling food and other items up and down First Street, and there will be live music from at least nine entertainers.

But a bucket brigade contest will be held instead of the annual waterball competition, said Colleen Luttrell, who helps organizes the event.

"What happens is they fill a bucket up with water and they have this thing they constructed that's kind of like a small roof, and they throw water on the roof," she said. "They have a bucket down there and whoever collects the most water wins. You have to know how to throw it so it runs straight down into the bucket."

The bucket brigade contest features three-man teams and is open to children and adults. The decision to forego the waterball competition stems from concerns about the drought, Luttrell said. She said the bucket brigade contest will use reclaimed water.

One highlight of Smith River Days is the lawn mower races. In previous years, the races were held in a field behind Smith River's Community Hall. This year the races will be held on Highland Avenue across the street from the old Ray's Food Place building near the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and N. Fred Haight Drive, Luttrell said.

Another highlight will be the decorated bicycle contest for children 3andndash;7 and 8andndash;14 age groups.

"First place is $75 in each age group and second prize is $25," Luttrell said. "All participants that have a decorated bike will get a $5 bill."

The Smith River Heritage Association raises money for scholarships to help eighth-graders at Smith River School purchase supplies for their first year of high school, Luttrell said. The organization also chooses a firefighter of the year and awards them with a $50 or $75 debit card, she said.

The pancake breakfast is the Smith River Volunteer Fire Department's main fundraiser, she said. Proceeds will be used for their Christmas toys program that benefits local kids.

Smith River's United Methodist Church will also hold a rummage and bake sale fundraiser at the church on Beckstead Avenue.

The pancake breakfast starts at 8 a.m. at the Community Hall on First Street. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and will kick off Smith River Days.

For more information, call 951-3372 or

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