“Homespun is not just for the Polk County Chamber,” said Executive Director Tamaka Hudson.
She emphasized that it brings people together for a fun-filled day, which provides something for the entire family to enjoy.
This year, Hudson said, meetings have been held with emergency responders — police, fire and EMS — to prepare for the unexpected such as a summer storm. A plan is being formulated so that crowds can safely exit the area.
Homespun kicks off from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, with gospel entertainment provided by Southern Grace, Masters 3 Trio, Miranda Thompson, Purely Acoustic, Victory Road, and Heirborn.
Saturday’s activities will begin with the Crossview Community – Homespun 5k on the Silver Comet Trail.
For people not interested in the race, fine arts and crafts will be available. And, food vendors will provide hot dogs, hamburgers, giant turkey legs, funnel cakes, snow cones, ice cream, pizza and more.
Children will find an inflatable obstacle course, pony rides, rock climbing wall and carnival style rides.
Highlighting the morning activities will be a parade at 10 a.m. Crowds traditionally line downtown streets to view the antics of Shriners and watch other groups as they travel through town.
Little girls in pretty dresses will blossom on stage at 11:05 a.m. when they compete to win the Little Miss Homespun pageant. Erin Terry and The Ballet Garden are also scheduled to perform.
Featured during the afternoon is one of the most popular events of Homespun — the Rotary/Polk Duck Race, which usually begins around 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.
After the duck race, the entertainment will be non-stop!
Scheduled to perform are Seth Carter and Dixie Steele, the Preston Summerville Band, Colt Chambers, Nuthin Fancy, Greg Brown and Dust on the Bottle, Lucas McCain, Would Be Thieves, Bennie Gray and the Trailer Park Cowboys.
“I am excited about our lineup this year,” said Frank Hilburn, organizer. “Homespun is a great time to showcase local talent.”
Hilburn said he is also working with the Wounded Warriors Project to present a special program at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
“This is the first time we have had something like this at Homespun,” he said. “I have written a song to honor our military, entitled ‘Mr. Soldier’. It is about a youth leaving home to go to a foreign land to fight for our freedom.
"The fact is that many of them return from battle with a visible or invisible wound. Too often, they are forgotten by the people they were there to protect.”
Although this program is planned to honor fallen heroes, Hilburn said he wants to remember veterans from all wars. He also hopes to show videos of soldiers on a large screen.
Senator Bill Heath will give opening remarks and Post 12 Honor Guard is scheduled to give a 21-gun salute.
Michael Jack and The Psychedelic will perform prior to the Floyd EMS fireworks extravaganza, which climaxes the day’s activities.