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Pecan gets its day at annual Baconton festival

Parade, street dance highlights of Baconton festival

Highlights of Baconton’s annual Pecan Harvest Festival include a street dance Friday and a parade Saturday. (Special illustration) Highlights of Baconton’s annual Pecan Harvest Festival include a street dance Friday and a parade Saturday. (Special illustration)

Highlights of Baconton’s annual Pecan Harvest Festival include a street dance Friday and a parade Saturday. (Special illustration) Highlights of Baconton’s annual Pecan Harvest Festival include a street dance Friday and a parade Saturday. (Special illustration)

BACONTON — This small Southwest Georgia community is expected to easily triple its population Saturday during the 38th celebration of its annual Pecan Harvest Festival.

Organizers are promising “Food! Fun! Fellowship!” as the Baconton community celebrates one of the region’s primary agricultural exports.

“This is the biggest gathering we have in Baconton all year,” Mayor Annette Morman said of the annual festival. “We have visitors from all over the region and some from outside the region, and all of our citizens enjoy the fellowship. It’s something we all look forward to every year.”

The festival, whose highlights include a parade through downtown Baconton, actually kicks off Friday night with a street dance. Dignitaries, including parade grand marshal John Cole and Robert Bacon of Arizona, the grandson of the city’s founder, will gather for a reception at City Hall at 6 p.m. Immediately afterward, a DJ will play dance favorites in the closed-off downtown.

Lineup for the parade, which has been a part of the festival for the past 17 years, will start shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday, and the event will kick off promptly at 10 a.m. Parade coordinator Olivia Morman, the mayor’s sister and a member of Baconton’s Downtown Development Authority, said more than 60 groups had been invited to take part in the parade.

“We generally average about 50 participants in the parade,” Olivia Morman said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to show off the changes in Baconton to visitors. I know she’s my sister, but Annette has done a fantastic job along with the City Commission of bringing positive changes to our city.”

The parade will originate at the intersection of Lester Road and School Street and wind its way through downtown, ending at the Old Festival Grounds off State Highway 3. Opening ceremonies will follow the parade at around 11 a.m., and festival activities will continue until 5 p.m. on the festival grounds.

Among the planned highlights of the Pecan Harvest Festival are food and goods vendors, arts and crafts, and various groups providing musical entertainment. Prizes will be given away every hour.

Baconton is located 20 miles south of Albany off U.S. Highway 19. For information about Saturday’s festival, call (229) 787-5511.