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Hoschton's fall festival has Western feeling

HOSCHTON - Hoschton's annual fall festival is expected to have its biggest crowd this year.

The festival, which has traditionally been held on the city square, will expand into two nearby areas - the Towne Center and the West Jackson Min-E-Shops, said Robbie Bettis, a member of the festival's planning committee.

The festival's theme is the Hoschton Stampede, and each area is designed to have a different atmosphere, Bettis said. The city square will house Frontier Land, the Towne Center will be the Hispanic Village, and the West Jackson Min-E-Shops will be the Native American Village.

City officials hope to have about 5,000 visitors, and parking will be available in fields near the event, said Bettis, who has helped plan the festival for more than 30 years.

"It's always been fun," she said. "It's always been a delightful event."

Entertainers will perform everything from country and hard rock to gospel music throughout the festival, and more than 100 vendors will set up booths, Bettis said. Several activities are also planned, including a pie baking contest, a cookie contest, a cake roundup, a car show and a tractor show, she said.

A parade will take place at 10:30 a.m., running south on Ga. Highway 53 from West Jackson Primary School to Towne Center.

A scarecrow contest has already started, and several businesses and organizations have set out scarecrows that will be judged, Bettis said.

"Scarecrows were designed to ward off evil crows," Bettis said. "We're hoping to ward off evil things that might happen with our festival."

A complete list of activities is available online at www.hoschtonfallfestival.com.

Bettis said anyone interested in becoming a vendor or entertainer or in volunteering at the festival can call her at 706-654-3693.

SideBar: If you go

What: Hoschton Fall Festival

When: 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: City square and Towne Center Parkway

For more information: Visit www.hoschtonfallfestival.com