By MARCIA LANE
EAST PALATKA – Hoe Down in P’Town is this Friday (April 6) at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in East Palatka.
If you’re in the know you know to be there for the cake auction, featuring baked creations by kids and noted bakers. Merley Plymel has a reputation for each year donating a couple of cakes. Bidding gets fierce when it comes to her chocolate Texas sheet cake.
“Her cakes bring in a pile of money,” says George DeLoach, WIYD radio personality and Future Farmers of America state board of directors member. “One year one of those cakes went for more than $400.”
Putnam School Board chair Jane Thomas Crawford always goes with her checkbook ready. “I like those cakes,” she told fellow board member David Buckles when he ribbed her about it at a recent school board meeting.
The money from the cakes and other Hoe Down activities goes for good causes – Robert Jenkins Middle School’s archery team and their Future Farmers of America organization.
In its sixth year, the Hoe Down began as a way to raise needed funds for FFA programs. That first year some $11,000 was raised.
As the Hoe Down kept growing and more help was needed, the school’s archery team and their parents got involved. Jenkins’ archery team has consistently sent kids in the archery program to national meets after winning at the state level.
The community continues to support it. This year Jenkins archery students will, along with Palatka High School state archery winners, be headed to the national archery competition in Kentucky.
Lots more goes on at the family-friendly event at the fairgrounds in East Palatka. Several live bands, drawings, silent auctions, a live DJ, line dancing, games for kids, monster truck rides, food and the cake auction are on the schedule. Food and drink scan be purchased.
And you can get an advance look at the Jenkins archers – they’re holding an archery competition.
Tickets are $8 each at the gate. The Hoe Down runs from 5 to 10 p.m.