August 31, 2011 12:32:00 PM
CALEDONIA -- The eighth annual Caledonia Days festival is still a month and a half away, but plans are swiftly falling into place.
Tuesday night, nearly two dozen volunteers gathered at the Caledonia Community Center to get an update. Mostly, the meeting was to make sure everyone was on the same page, said event organizer Jackie Savage.
The festival, which originally began as a way to celebrate the town''s 100th birthday, has become a much-anticipated celebration of small-town life and community fellowship, she said. Last year, more than 3,000 people flocked to Main Street to enjoy the festivities, and this year, she expects even higher attendance.
This year''s event, Oct. 14 and 15, will be the first time the festival includes Friday-night activities -- a requirement to obtain funding from the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB voted earlier in the month to contribute $8,000 to Caledonia Days'' overall $13,000 budget.
Political "stump" speeches will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by music from Vernon, Ala.-based band, Class of ''65. The evening will conclude with a fireworks show.
Saturday''s activities will include a pet parade, 5K fun run, live performances, carriage rides, lawnmower races and other events. Between 30-40 vendors have already signed up to participate.
"We''ve never done anything to the scale we''re doing this time," Savage said.
Anyone interested in signing up as a vendor or performer can call Savage after 4 p.m. at 662-435-2635.
Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.