SOCIAL CIRCLE — The very name of the city denotes a spirit of hospitality, so it’s no surprise Social Circle calls its celebration of fall the Friendship Festival.
The 19th annual event takes place Saturday, Oct. 5, kicking off with a parade and featuring arts and crafts vendors, musical entertainment, kids activities and giveaways.
All are welcome to participate in the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. at Social Circle Middle High School at 154 Alcova Drive. Line up begins at 9 a.m. The route runs from the school to Ga. Highway 11, turning onto Hightower Trail and finishing at the school. This year’s theme is “Hometown Heroes.” The popular pet parade featured for the first time last year is back again. Pet owners can dress their pets as heroes such as soldiers, police and other public safety officials for a chance to win first prize.
“We started this last year so this is our second annual pet parade and the idea is to get people to bring out their dogs or goats or whatever would walk with them during the parade,” said Darlene Alley, one of the event organizers. “Last year it was all dogs, but we are open to any animal that is cooperative that will remain on a leash in some controlled way and is nice to other animals and people.”
Floats should also be decorated to celebrate the theme of local heroes, Alley said. First prize is $150, second prize is $100 and third is $50. This year organizers are offering a new incentive for bands to participate by offering a $500 prize for best band. Entries will be evaluated by judges as well as parade-goers. There are no entry fees, but parade participants should submit applications prior to the event at www.socialcirclegabht.com.
The festival runs from 9 a.m. — 3 p.m. in downtown Social Circle. Music begins at 11 a.m. and will be sponsored by the Social Circle Theater. A kids’ area will feature pony rides and jumpers and folks will have a chance to win one of several helicopter rides and a Green Egg grill, said Better Hometown Director Mike Miller.
More than 100 artists and vendors will have wares for sale. Miller said the event has drawn at least 4,000 people in past years.
“Basically the Friendship Festival is just for people that live around this area to come and have fun downtown with their friends and neighbors,” he said.
There is no entry or parking fee for the festival, but there will be charges for food and kids’ activities.