October 18, 2013 9:44:50 AM
William Browning - [email protected]
Caledonia Days begins tonight and the mayor of the north Lowndes County town said despite rain the past few days, he expects perfect weather for the 10th annual two-day event.
The fall festival began in 2003 on the town's centennial anniversary.
"It was a hit then and it's become an ultra-hit now," Mayor Bill Lawrence said. "We're the nicest little town in Mississippi and we're inviting everyone to come on out."
Caledonia Days has drawn more than 3,000 people in the past. Tami McCool, one of this year's organizers, expects another big crowd this year. She has fielded calls from all around the state, as well as Birmingham and Nashville.
"It's a celebration of our town," she said. "It's the chance to showcase our town."
The festival begins at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Ola J. Pickett Park with a performance by Caledonia native Kelsey Collins. At 7 p.m., Win-Wheel, a band from Vernon, Ala., will perform. At 8:30 p.m. the show's headliner, Skylar Laine, a former American Idol finalist and Mississippi native, will take the stage. A fireworks show will follow Laine's show, according to McCool.
The concert is free.
"All people need to bring is a lawnchair," McCool said.
Concessions will be available, and there will be a children's area with rides and games.
On Saturday at 8 a.m. the festival begins again in downtown Caledonia and runs through 5 p.m. The second day will feature a 5K run, a dice run, a car and tractor show, a lawnmower race and a pet parade, according to McCool. Food vendors will also be operating.
Lawrence, when asked what he was most looking forward to at this year's Caledonia Days, said he was excited for the entire event. Then he added, "I like those funnel cakes and hot dogs and barbecue, though."
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.