the Friend­ship Fes­ti­val

So­cial Cir­cle holds 14th an­nual event

The Covington News - - Local News - By Michelle Kim

The So­cial Cir­cle Bet­ter Home­town pro­gram kicks off the 14th An­nual Friend­ship Fes­ti­val this week­end in down­town So­cial Cir­cle with a food, floats and plenty of home­town fun.

This year’s fes­tiv­i­ties prom­ise to be big­ger and bet­ter than ever — with more than 100 arts and crafts ven­dors fea­tur­ing a wide va­ri­ety of hand­made wares such as wood­work­ing, purses, jew­elry and metal work as well as sev­eral food ven­dors, said Lind­sey Wood, di­rec­tor of the So­cial Cir­cle Bet­ter Home­town pro- gram.

A high­light of the fes­ti­val is the pa­rade through the down­town area start­ing at 10 a.m. fea­tur­ing fam­ily floats and a pet walk. Any­one can en­ter a float and prizes will be awarded for cat­e­gories such as wack­i­est float, best de­signed float, and so on.

Peo­ple can also bring their pets on leashes dressed in cos­tumes for the much-loved pet walk por­tion of the pa­rade.

To join the pa­rade, par­tic­i­pants are asked to meet at the So­cial Cir­cle Ele­men­tary School at 9 a.m. for the line up.

Af­ter the pa­rade un­til 5 p.m., there’ll be a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment.

Open­ing cer­e­monies with Mayor Jim Burgess and the So­cial Cir­cle The­ater cast will be at 10:45 a.m. Joanie Fitzger­ald will sing the na­tional an­them.

A Kid’s Cor­ner is sure to keep the lit­tle ones oc­cu­pied, with face paint­ing, bub­ble ma­chines, a ma­gi­cian and a build-a-bear ma­chine.

A new fea­ture at this year’s fes­ti­val is the “End Zone,” an area that might be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to the con­tin­gent that’s not so in­ter­ested in shop­ping, or for any­one looking to put their feet up for a spell.

“It’s for the men to be able to get away from their moth­ers and sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers to re­lax,” Wood said.

Along with re­clin­ers and big screen tele­vi­sion sets, there will also be PlaySta­tion 3 and Xbox 360 set up for games and en­ter­tain­ment.

Bands such as The Arch­men, the Al­covy River Band, Dave Fink, Jim Jones and Pa­tri­cia Joiner will pro­vide live mu­sic through­out the day.

The So­cial Cir­cle The­ater will per­form in­di­vid­ual acts at noon, and Mark the Magic Man will bring his act to the stage at 3:30 p.m.

Af­ter the fes­ti­val, lo­cal per­former Cindy Sawyers will pro­vide a free con­cert with the Heart and Soul band, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Wood, who helped run the Sweet­wa­ter Fes­ti­val in Milledgeville be­fore com­ing to the Bet­ter Home­town pro­gram in De­cem­ber, said she hopes for as big or a big­ger turnout than last year’s fes­ti­val, which saw about 5,000 at­ten­dees.

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