This year's city Kids Fishing Derby is getting an artistic addition.

The derby, hosted by the Parks and Recreation department, and the Midlothian Arts Council's first Photo Race will be held April 9 at Ash Grove Cement plant's Grifford-Hill Lake.

The photo race is open to everyone, said Erica Stephens, vice president of the Arts Council. The council was originally asked to plan an activity for fishing derby contestants between the end of the fishing time and the awards presentation, she said, but decided to expand their involvement.

“We wanted to plan a tandem event for people who aren't into fishing or don't have a kiddo out there to have more people involved to make it more of a community event,” Stephens said.

The derby is open to children from 4-years-old to 15-years-old. Registration is open online at the city's website and check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. at the park. The youngest division will begin fishing at 9 a.m. and the 8-11-year-olds and 12-15-year-olds will begin fishing at 9:30 a.m. Trophies will be handed out for first, second and third place division winners, biggest fish, smallest fish, derby champion: overall weight. The awards will be presented during the In-N-Out Burger cookout lunch from 11 a.m. to noon.

The Photo Race will have three divisions, 11 years old and under, 12 years old to 18 years old and 19 and older, Stephens said. Day of registration is free and will last from 9 to 11 a.m. The window to take photos will close at 1 p.m. when the lake is closed.

“It would be a great day to pack a picnic lunch. Everyone in your family can enter,” she said.

Those who want to compete should bring a digital camera or cell phone, Stephens said. Those who register will be given a theme to help guide them.

“It will give photographers a bit of a push toward what kind of photo to look for,” she said. “We are really excited to see what people come up with. It is not very strict.”

Two photos will be submitted per entrant by email Sunday afternoon and the winners will be announced April 11 and honored a the Midlothian city council meeting April 12. The first place winner in each category will receive $100 and the second place winner will receive $50.

The judges for the photo contest will be Midlothian Now editor Betty Tryon, Fort Worth artist and project space creator Lauren Cross and professional photographer Lynn Cromer.

For more information about the art council, visit its Facebook page, Midlothian Arts Council. More information and online registration for the Fishing Derby is online at

Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email Follow her on Facebook at or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.