Fulton County gets prepared for annual Homecoming Fest

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published May 19, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 17, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
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— Of all the things that draw visitors to the annual Fulton County Homecoming Festival, the biggest pull may come in the form of apple pie.

At the end of the Bank of Salem Mark Thomas Memorial Apple Pie Run, homemade apple pies await the top 20 runners. It’s a unique motivational tool for the 5K runners, and race organizer Sherry Jackson said the reward draws racers from as far as Jacksonville.

“It’s usually the popular chat,” Jackson said. “They want their pie.”

The 5K is one of several weekend activities planned for the 64th annual festival, set for Friday and Saturday on the Fulton County Courthouse Square in Salem. Friday will kick off with a 5 p.m. fish dinner at the Salem Senior Life Center, followed by an 8 p.m. street dance with live music on the south side of the courthouse square.

Saturday’s activities will include the 5K, which starts at 8 a.m., along with an antique tractor show, horseshoe pitching and a street market. A Squirt Race for children 10 and

under is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday on the north side of the square, with registration for the race starting at 9:15 a.m.

The festival’s parade will kick off at 1 p.m., with a Kiddie Parade set for 12:30 p.m.

“The 5K race brings the most people from out of town, but the parade is probably the most heavily attended part of the festival,” said Carolyn Lewis, festival publicity coordinator.

This year’s parade grand marshals will be area World War II veterans, and the parade will pause to honor the men with special music. Six veterans are currently signed up to participate, and others interested in being involved can contact Janie Flynn at (870) 895-3207.

Lewis said the festival draws an average of 1,300 visitors each summer, and many high school class reunions are held over the weekend to capitalize on people who return home for the event.

For more information on the festival, call the Salem Chamber of Commerce at (870) 895-5565.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or evanzandt@arkansasonline.com.

Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at .

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