Union's 37th annual Country Day celebration begins Tuesday, continues Wednesday and Thursday and concludes Saturday.

The end-of-summer festival promises to be bigger and more complete than any over the past few years, according to Country Day Chairman Marion Whinery.

Tuesday night, Aug. 20: The annual Country Boy and Country Girl contest features competition in four different age categories.

It will start at 7 p.m. and be held, weather permitting, in the downtown mini-park.

Entry forms are already available at the Bank St. Chamber of Commerce offices. There is a $10 entry fee.

Wednesday night, Aug. 21: Gospel night. First Baptist Church pastor Jon Martin and Music Director Steve Bufkin will be coordinating an evening of gospel music downtown.

Martin said they were in the process of securing individuals and groups who would like to be on the program. Interested singers and musicians can contact him at 601-774-8144.

There will be no charge for admission.

Thursday night, Aug. 22: The annual Talent Show has been upgraded.

In addition to a $100 First prize, the winner has a chance to move up to bigger and better things.

Country Day has teamed with the national Texaco Country Showdown.

Union's winner will leave the local level and continue to the State competition at the Mississippi State Fair in Jackson in October to win a $1,000 prize and stay on the ladder.

State winners then compete at one of five regional contests held to determine who will win an all-expense paid trip to compete in the National Final for the $100,000 Grand Prize and the title Best New Act in Country Music.

Now in it's 32nd year, the Country Showdown is a national competition. Artists such as Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Chris Young, Miranda Lambert, Garth Brooks, and LeAnn Rimes got their starts in the Country Showdown.

Competitors can reserve a place on the program by contacting the Chamber office at 601-774-9586 and paying a $20 entry fee.

Saturday, Aug. 24: The Saturday program will include the traditional stage acts and events and about 100 street vendors.

The Country Day organizers are also following up on last year's success with another 5K Run and Walk with a 1-Mile Fun Run.

Antique Car Show: The annual Antique Car Show and parade will also have a new twist this year.

In addition to a drive through and display on Country Day, Aug. 24, the car owners will be competing for awards in three categories: Best Car, Best Truck and Best Tractor.

Chairman Rudy Adkins will be lining up the entrants and the judging will begin at 7 a.m. on Country day in the parking lot at the corner of Peachtree St. and Jackson Ave.

After a downtown parade, the winners will be announced and the entries will be on display at the east end of Main Street.