Homespun is a word that evokes an image of a woman at a spinning wheel or memories of a bygone era and a simpler time.
It can remind of the days when downtown Rockmart was different, especially on Friday and Saturday. This was during an era when many country folks would drive mule drawn wagons to town for shopping and visiting with neighbors and friends.
Many area families still retain treasured family photos of a thriving downtown area with lots of green grass and trees growing along the banks of a bubbling stream called Euharlee.
The area has changed with the passing of years but the sparkling waters of the creek still flows through Seaborn Jones Park where the 2009 Homespun Festival will be held July 17-18.
The event, sponsored by the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, will kick off Friday night with live entertainment from 5 to 9 p.m. Both traditional and contemporary music will be featured.
Take One will open Friday’s entertainment at 5:30 p.m. followed by Debbie Sullivan and First Zion Inspirational Choir. Gospel groups Victory Road at 7:30 p.m. and Heirborn at 8:30 p.m. will complete the evening’s program.
Crowds usually arrive early Saturday morning - 8 a.m. - for the 5K Run on the Silver Comet Trail. Registration will start at 7:15 a.m. and all runners must arrive no later than 7:30 a.m.
The First United Methodist Church of Rockmart will provide breakfast for the runners after the race. All proceeds will be given to support church planting.
For more information, contact Ashley at 770-684-4070 or 770-265-2045.
Early birds can peek at a variety of items, as vendors will be set on grounds near the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Participants from throughout the Southeast will exhibit handcrafted merchandise.
The parade, which begins at 10 a.m., is a project of Rockmart Masonic Lodge #97 and the Cedar Valley Shrine Club has been invited to participate. Joe Anderson will be the grand marshal.
Plans are to follow the traditional route - down Piedmont Avenue from old Rockmart High School, right onto Elm, left at Marble and right onto Church Street to end at Forsyth Ford. Crowds are expected to line the route since this is a favorite Homespun attraction.
Highlighting the morning will be the annual “Little Miss Homespun” pageant, sponsored by Rockmart Middle School cheerleaders. A winner will be named during the competition, which begins at 11:25 a.m.
Children also love to join friends to watch the Rotary Duck Race as little yellow ducks are dropped into Euharlee Creek. They bob along and appear to be performing for the entertainment of the young and young at heart.
This event, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rockmart/Polk County, will begin at 2 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to adopt a duck for a $5 donation each or $10 for 3.
The aroma of good food will draw the hungry to a variety of concessions sure to please any appetite. The list of sponsors and selections include:
Lions Club, hot dogs, hamburgers and funnel cakes; Rockmart Masonic Lodge, popcorn, corn dogs, nachos and cotton candy; Sunset Farm’s Hillbilly Café, chicken baskets, ribbon fries, shrimp and rice, steak and chicken salad; Pizza Farm, pizza, tater skins and pretzels; European Delight, Greek cuisine; Cheesecake on a Stick, cheesecake, meatball sub, Italian sausage, cheese stuffed bread; Cry Baby Concessions, blooming onions; Richardson BBQ, barbecue, ribs, brunswick stew; Kwik Concessions, chipstix, push pops, lemonade and nachos; Pritchett Farm, Italian roll up, mexi pocket, ham sandwiches.
Non-profit groups are also providing tasty treats: West Aragon Church of Christ, peach cobbler with ice; Optimist Club, snow cones/lemonade; Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, cookies; Rockmart High Volleyball, lemonade / baked items; Abundant Life Apostolic Church, ice cream / baked goods; Shady Grove UMC, baked items; IFCC, ice cream and RHS cheerleaders, fried Oreos and frozen sweet tea.
Attractions planned include an 18-foot slide, obstacle course, petting zoo, climbing wall, whirly bird, duck pond and goldfish toss.
Live entertainment will be on the park stage and performers will include:
The Ballet Garden, First Zion Angelettes, A County Mile, John David Krause, Layla Southern, Donnie Canada, No Sweat and others.
Southern Thunder will perform from 9 to 10 p.m. when Saturday’s schedule of events will be climaxed with a fireworks extravaganza.