Attendance at this year's Shakin' in the Shell Fest broke all records with approximately 7,000 people participating in the two-day event, which is twice as many as the 3,000 who attended last fall.
"The number in attendance speaks for itself," said Kim Przybyl, festival chairperson and founder. "This year's fest was a huge success. Everyone seemed to have a great time, especially the volunteers."
Saturday's full slate of activities focused on kids in the community with a Little Miss and Mr. Shell Knob contest, carnival rides, a performance by the Shell Knob School concert choir and the always popular Ugly Dog contest.
"It was wonderful to see the kids all running around having a great time," said Przybyl.
The Little Miss and Mr. Shell Knob Contest, which was coordinated by Jennifer Hadlow, attracted 14 contestants, who charmed the large crowd that gathered for the coronation ceremony.
Winners were: Shell Knob Prince Brayden Hayes; Shell Knob Princess Rileigh Rickard; Shell Knob Queen Mackenzie Lawson; Shell Knob King Brett Renfrow; Little Miss Shell Knob Breanna Renfrow; and Little Miss Shell Knob runner-up Cheyenne Engman.
Other contestants included Logan Whisman, Isaac Hadlow, Addison Sherfy, Holly Sherfy, Aileen Curbow, Hunter Sparks, Haleigh Rickard, Kaylin Whitlock and Ambria Vaughan.
Almost as popular as the Little Miss and Mr. Shell Knob contest was the Ugly Dog Contest, sponsored by the Haven of the Ozarks.
Winners in that contest for each category are listed below.
* Best Dressed: Precious shown by Donna Matchett, first place; and Reggie shown by Linda Holmberg.
* Cutest Puppy: Beebey shown by Lela Beaman, first place; and Pogo shown by Karen Hawthorne, second place.
* Best Trick: Beebey shown by Lela Beaman, first place; and Millie shown by Harriet Rhea, second place.
* Dog That Looks Most Like Owner: Motts and owner Debbie Moser, first place; and Skylar and owner Michael Johnson, second place.
* Best Tail-wagger: Ollie shown by Barb Reinhart, first place; and Precious shown by Donna Matchett, second place.
* Best Barker: Oakie shown by Linda Pace, first place; and Ruby, shown by Randy Doolittle, second place.
* Ugliest Dog: Diesel, shown by Josh Johnson, first place; and Priscilla, shown by Kindra Keck, second place.
Gibson, owned by Janet Giardino, was crowned King, and Snickers, owned by Liz Crouch, was crowned Queen. The pair raised the most money for Haven of the Ozarks. Willa Wulz, Haven treasurer who also coordinated the Ugly Dog Contest, said the event raised about $450 for the no-kill animal sanctuary in Exeter.
"We really appreciate Shakin' in the Shell for letting us be a part of their program," said Wulz. "We also appreciate everyone who stuffed the vests of our dogs and donated money. Our dog show always draws a big crowd."
Another huge draw of the festival was two nights of outstanding musical performances.
"Friday night was packed with people soaking up the great music," said Przybyl. "On Saturday night, families came and settled in for the amazing concert."
Groups that performed during on the festival's main stage included: Fatz59; Nicky and the Boys; Rock Pie; Tonya LeDawn Davison; Lynette; John DeHoyos; and Rich McCready.
The Shell Knob School Concert Band also performed for a big crowd on Saturday in between the Little Miss and Mr. Shell Pageant and the Ugly Dog Contest.
This is the third year that the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce has held the Shakin' in the Shell Fest.
Results from the 19th annual Shell Knob Car Show, which was held Saturday in conjunction with the festival, will be announced in next week's issue of the Cassville Democrat.