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Local: Down Home Days this weekend

Chris Jones: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Madison's annual Down Home Days Festival started Thursday, April 20. Hopefully, you did not miss the announcement of the Cupcake Creations Bake-off winner, the pet contest, or the Madison Boys Choir performance, which all took place on Thursday. If you did, do not fret, as there are plenty of fun and exciting events scheduled for Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22.

Friday at 5:45 p.m., the Citizen of the Year will be announced. Then at 6 p.m., Becky's Dance Steps Studio will perform a recital. Kiley Thompson will perform music immediately after the recital, as the grandparent of the year is announced. The Down Home Days street dance, which is free and open to the community, will take place from 7 p.m to 9:30 p.m., with DJ David Lawton playing music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. All of Friday's events will be at the courthouse annex on SW Pinckney St.

On Saturday, get your morning started early with a 5K Run, sponsored by North Florida Community College, which takes place from 8 a.m. until 8:45 a.m., and starts at 224 NW Crane Ave. If you aren't in the shape to run five kilometers, try the one mile Fun Run and Walk, which starts at 9 a.m. at the same location. The “Let Freedom Ring” parade starts at 10 a.m. Everlasting Arms will perform music at the Four Freedoms Park gazebo, starting at 10:45 a.m.

At 11 a.m., several events and activities will run simultaneously. Those are the antique and classic car show on NE Range Ave.; an opportunity to test drive new cars, sponsored by Walt's Ford of Live Oak, on E Base St.; and the Freestyle Connection BMX all-age cycling event, at SW Shelby Ave.

Bailey Barefoot and Mike Humphrey take the stage at 11:30 a.m. at Four Freedoms gazebo.

At noon, the second cake walk will take place in the center of SW Range Ave. Tickets are $1. Live music will also continue at the gazebo, with Lifesong at noon and Christian and Drew Schmoe at 1 p.m. Also at 1 p.m. will be the 3rd cake walk. The frog hop contest starts at 1:30 p.m. on the courthouse lawn.

Vendors will be on site throughout the festival, providing food, retail shopping, homemade goods, local civic organizations, and kid's entertainment.

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