Danny Dawson

Danny Dawson will perform after Saturday's Leesburg Christmas Parade.

LEESBURG — The Lee County Chamber of Commerce and the Leesburg Spirit of Christmas Parade & Festival committee have announced that Danny Dawson and the Danny Dawson Band will perform at the annual Festival, following the downtown Christmas Parade on Saturday.

“Every year we try to bring local talent to our stage,” parade Entertainment Coordinator Patsy Shirley said in a news release. “This year we have several students from the high school performing as well as our new LCHS Theater Director, Hannah Chapman. Sound for our local talent is being provided by G2 Live Entertainment. We are very excited to also bring to our stage country music artist Danny Dawson.”

Dawson’s early career in the music business began in the 1980s with his band The Georgia Heartbeat. The popular band enjoyed success touring Georgia and Florida, opening for such national acts as Confederate Railroad, Ronnie Milsap, Tanya Tucker, David Allan Coe, Sammy Kershaw, Darin Norwood, Toby Keith, Aaron Tippin and Faith Hill. Dawson toured with Waylon Jennings and appeared on Waylon’s show “Waylon and Friends” alongside Travis Tritt and Lee Roy Parnell, where the group performed the song “Big Boss Man.” Dawson took a break from music in the mid-90s.

His hiatus from music ended in 2015, when he met his wife, Martha Haskins Dawson, who encouraged him to give it one last go. Armed with only a few practiced songs, Dawson eased back onto the music scene, only to be welcomed and greeted by old and new fans who loved his music and stage performances. Dawson now performs with a six-piece band touring Florida and Georgia.

Since his return to country music, Dawson has played and performed at numerous festivals and events, opening for such national acts as Ronnie Milsap at the UGA Center, Exile, Sammy Kershaw, Mark Chesnutt, and Lee Greenwood. Dawson also joined Confederate Railroad onstage at the Georgia National Fair, performing their hit “Queen of Memphis.” His most celebrated performance to date is performing “Georgia On My Mind” at the inauguration of newly elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in February of this year at the Georgia Tech McCamish Pavilion.

Dawson performs regularly at Milltown Music Hall in Bremen. He was recently appointed to the Governor’s Council on Film, Music and Digital Entertainment, where he serves on the advisory board. He is presently working on new material for his third CD, which is due out next year.

Entertainment at the Leesburg Spirit of Christmas Festival begins at 11:45 a.m., with performances from several local students. Dawson will take the stage at 1:15 p.m.

The day of fun starts Saturday with Breakfast with Santa is from 7:30-10 a.m. (at Lee County High School), the parade kicks off at 10 a.m., followed by the festival with food, fun, lots of wonderful shopping opportunities and entertainment.

For additional information, contact the Lee County Chamber of Commerce at (229) 759-2422.

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