John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism invites you to join them in the 37th Annual Down Home Days Parade, on Saturday, April 21, at 10 a.m. The Down Home Days Parade has always been one of the most anticipated events of the festival, and your participation will make it all the more memorable. This year’s theme will be announced soon.
Applications to be in the parade are now being accepted. Decisions for parade line-up will be made on a first-come, first served basis on the day of the parade. Line-up will begin at 8:30 a.m., at the main entrance of North Florida Community College, behind O'Neal's Country Buffet, located at 325 Turner Davis Dr., in Madison.
Parade applications fees are as follows: commercial and political entries, $30; non-profit and pageant entries, $15. For safety purposes, the Chamber of Commerce is asking that there be no battery powered children's vehicles. They are very dangerous and slow the procession. Candy, toys, beads, and other objects cannot be thrown from the parade units for the safety of small children. All vehicles with greater than 15 horsepower will flow single-file down the parade centerline. No lurching or accelerating toward spectators is permitted as the safety of spectators and participants is paramount.
Gunfire and other small explosions, such as firecrackers, etc. are not permitted as it might frighten small children and senior citizens. Anyone who violates these rules or otherwise endangers or frightens the public will be asked to leave the parade. The Chamber of Commerce would also like to discourage “walkers” in the parade (except for the purpose of distributing beads or candy to the crowd). Children must not be encouraged to approach floats at any time, other than marching formations. Walkers must accompany a float, vehicle or be in an organized group and maintain the pace of the parade at all times. All other parade entries will be asked to ride in their vehicle or float. The Chamber of Commerce is not responsible for any loss, theft or damage to personal property or any personal injury.
As the Down Home Days grows and becomes more popular, The Chamber of Commerce is looking to upgrade the appearance of all events, including the parade. We are trying to encourage entries who spark the public's interest, including: bands, marching units, floats, antique automobiles, and equestrian units. Please ensure that any signs that adorn your entry are professionally painted and are large enough to be read from 100 feet away. Military salutes are always appreciated. Derogatory remarks or profanity will not be permitted.
The deadline for entries is Monday, April 16. Visit visitmadisonfl.org to download your form. Once completed, mail the completed entry form to Madison County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, at PO Box 817, Madison, Fl. 32341. For more information, call the Chamber at (850) 973-2788.