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Who will get dunked at Forsyth Family Fest? Come see!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forsyth Family Fest organizers preparing for this year’s June 17-18 community event didn’t know that this year’s parade, set to the theme of “Building Dreams,” would fulfill a long-held dream: For the first time in the Fest’s history, the marching band from Maroa-Forsyth High School will join the parade.

“That’s a dream that hasn’t come true for the past 24 years since the Fest began,” said trustee Marilyn Johnson in announcing that the high school’s new band director, Everett James, and his students will bring live music to the parade route. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Weaver Road by Staples on the Village’s east side.

The band’s debut caps a season of pre-planning by Johnson and her ad hoc committee of Becky Allsup, Candi Culp, Amy Leman, Leanne Kuhn and Paula Bauler to bring new excitement to this year’s festivities.

“Things were getting stale,” Johnson admitted. So the committee got creative with the introduction of a dunk tank, cancellation of the pedal pull and consolidation of bingo activities for adults and children.

The fest schedule lists the dunk tank as operating from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. “But this may go on into the night,” Johnson predicted. Participants willing to take the splash are being lined up for 15-minute segments. No one is saying who is on the list of participants, and Johnson said the surprises may include teachers, coaches and even Village trustees or staff.

There will be plenty of activities for the kids, she said, including free carnival rides, horse and carriage rides and a clown act. The first 20 children to sign up to ride on Forsyth Public Library’s float will receive parade T-shirts.” Since 2003, Oreana resident Roger Hupp from Hundman Lumber Co. has provided and driven the flatbed truck for the float, which library staff and patrons decorate to the theme of the summer reading program.

The Decatur-based classic rock group, Rock of Ages, will provide two shows Saturday evening. “A lot of people are familiar with the band and really like them,” Johnson said.

Central States Fireworks Inc. of Athens will provide the fireworks display for a second year. Maroa- Forsyth cheerleaders will be selling glow sticks for a fundraiser during the evening’s fireworks display.

Trustees allowed a budget of $40,000 to produce this year’s fest.

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