Homespun Parade

The annual Homespun Festival in Rockmart draws a colorful array of participantants that take part in the parade.

Agnes Hagin

Everyone loves a parade!

And, crowds are expected to line the streets of Rockmart at 10 a.m. Saturday to watch antics of Shriners and a host of other participants in the Homespun Festival.

The festival kicks off with gospel entertainment from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 18. Featured groups are The Moore’s and Friends, Greater Promise, The Whatley Brothers, Scarlet Wool, Victory Road and Heirborn.

Saturday’s activities will begin with the Crossview Community – Homespun 5k on the Silver Comet Trail. The race begins near the First United Methodist Church on the corner of Church and Water streets in downtown Rockmart.

A T-shirt will be guaranteed for all pre-registered runners and long as supplies last on race day.

Awards will be presented to the top male and female overall, top male and female masters, top three male and female runners in 15 age groups from ages 10 and under to 75 and over. All runners must be registered by 7:30 a.m.

Following the parade, live entertainment includes a mix of country, bluegrass, rock and more. Scheduled to appear during the afternoon are The Bradley Chandler Band, Isaac Streetman, Bill Brock, Taylor Cromer, Crossview Community Church, David Nixon, Scarlet Wool, Brooke Henderson Swan, Benny Gay and the Trailer Park Cowboys and the Sweet Southern reunion show.

Little girls in pretty dresses will blossom on stage at 11:05 a.m. when they compete to win the Little Miss Homespun pageant. Deadline to enter the pageant is Friday, July 11. An entry fee is due when you register.

Contact Danielle Coley at 678-918-6132 for more information about this event.

For people not interested in the race or music, fine arts and crafts will be on display. These typically feature such items as handmade purses by Darlene Crawford of Rockmart, pottery by Payne Pottery of Emerson and ceramic yard art by Bill Wanke of Temple.

Featured during the afternoon is one of the most popular events of Homespun - the Rotary/Polk Duck Race, which traditionally begins at 2 p.m. People gather on the banks of Euharlee Creek to watch little yellow plastic ducks bob along to the finish line when winners are announced.

Visitors seeking something different can view antique or classic cars parked at Richardson Field (across from the park). The Kiwanis Club sponsors the show and car owners are usually on site to hear hometown folks and visitors comment on favorites.

For more information about this special event, call Cory Day at 770-324-6347 or Layne Sanders at 678-757-2274.

Food vendors will provide blooming onions, gyros, ribbon fries, corndogs, shaved ice, homemade ice cream, apple dumplings, funnel cakes, hamburgers and hotdogs, barbecue, nachos, cotton candy, boiled peanuts, pork rinds, kettle corn, roasted corn and more.

Homespun organizers have added a special area of fun activities for kids. Children will find a 25-foot inflatable slide, dragonfly ride, rock wall, turbo tub ride, bull ride and pony ride plus a bounce house.

Plans are to make the 2014 festival better than ever, according to Mandy Mallicoat, communications specialist with the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber staff emphasize the Homespun Safety Committee meets several times each year to plan ways to secure the safety of all attendees and participants of the festival.

Saturday’s activities will climax at 9:30 p.m. with a fireworks show, sponsored by Floyd EMS.