By Carolyn Lewis
"Cruisin' Home" is the theme for the 57th Annual Fulton County Homecoming Festival May 26-27 in Salem. Most activities will take place around the Fulton County Courthouse Square. Events will get under way May 26 with a fish fry at the Salem Senior Citizens Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Fish and all the trimmings will be served, with proceeds to benefit the Fulton County Senior Citizens Meals on Wheels program.
Friday night's activities continue with the Southfork Regulators cowboy shoot-out on the court square at 7 p.m.
The First National Bank of Sharp County Street Dance will start at 8 p.m. on the south side of the court square. The popular Billy Joe French Band will provide music for the dance which draws people from a wide area of north Arkansas and south Missouri.
Saturday's activities start on the court square with registration for the Bank of Salem Mark Thomas Memorial Apple Pie 5K Race from 7 to 8 a.m. Runners and walkers will compete for trophies. For information on the 5K Race, contact Sherry Jackson at 870-895-6226. The race will start at 8 a.m. The first 20 people who cross the finish line will receive a home-baked apple pie compliments of the Fulton County Extension Homemaker Club and Town and Country Super Market. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the business that has the most race participants.
The Open Street Market will be held on the court square and vendors will set up at 7 a.m. Space is still available and may be reserved by contacting Dixie Harris at 870-895-3217.
A registration table will be set up in the Fulton County Courthouse beginning at 8:30 a.m. Festival T-shirts and Fulton County Relay for Life Chocolate Cookbooks will be for sale at the registration desk. Everyone is encouraged to go by and register. Attendance awards will be given to the oldest woman, oldest man and those traveling the longest distance from the east and the west.
Premier Home Furnishings will sponsor entertainment at the courthouse gazebo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Monkey Run Boys from Mountain Home will provide the music.
Registration for the Salem 1st Care Squirt Race for children age 10 and under will start at 9:30 a.m. and the race will start at 10 a.m. For information on the Squirt Race contact Melissa McCandlis at 870-895-1911. The Salem medical community sponsors this popular event for children.
MTDS/Radio Shack will sponsor Horseshoe Pitching beginning at 9:30 a.m. The location is behind Merlina's Designer Outlet, just off the southeast corner of the square. There will be six pits set up for contestants. The adult contests will start at 9:30 a.m., and the youth competition will be held at 10:30 a.m.
Registration for the Terrapin Downs will start at 10:30 a.m. on the west side of the court square and the race start time is at 11:30 a.m. Sonic of Salem sponsors the Terrapin Race.
The Radio Shack/MTDS Car and Motorcycle Show will begin at 12:45 p.m. at Burch's Custom Butchering. Trophies will be awarded in antique car, antique truck, late model car and late model truck divisions for the car show. The cycle show will have trophies for modern cycle, modified cycle and antique cycle. All entries in both the car and cycle show are eligible for a People's Choice award.
The Festival Parade lineup is at 12:45 p.m. Floats and beauty queens will line up at Preacher Roe Park.
Antique cars and motorcycles will line up at 12:45 p.m. at Burch's Custom Butchering, and horses and buggies will gather in the old rodeo arena area. The parade will be at 2 p.m. For additional information on the parade contact Tina McCullough at 870-895-4993.
Fulton County Hospital will sponsor the Kiddie Parade prior to the main parade. Lineup will be at 1 pm. at Orr's Lumber Company on the northeast corner of the square, and the parade will roll at 1:30 p.m.
The Ozark Mountain Music Makers will have their regular show at the Music Barn, just off Highway 62 south of Salem on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The festival will conclude on Saturday night with another street dance featuring Steel Whiskey at 7:30 p.m. This group plays a wide range of music that appeals to both young and old.
Several high school class reunions and family reunions are scheduled during the weekend.
For additional information on the Fulton County Homecoming Festival contact Monty McCullough, festival chairman, at 870-895-4993.