It all begins on Friday with a barbecue dinner -- $10 a plate -- at the Orange Room at North Arkansas Electric from 5 p.m. on. It will be a great place to gather, eat and visit, and proceeds will go to a good cause -- the fund to purchase a rescue boat for the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.
It's just a short distance from the Orange Room to the street dance on the Salem square. The band "Steel'n Country," will perform from 8 to 11 p.m.
Saturday's first event begins at 6:45 a.m., but always draws a crowd. The Mark Thomas Memorial Apple Pie 5K Race is open to runners and walkers of all age groups, and the first 20 finishers win apple pies.
By the time the race is finished, vendors will be set up for the Open Street Market on the square, featuring a wide variety of food and craft booths all day long. The square is also a prime spot for residents and visitors to hang out and catch up with old friends.
People attending the festival are asked to register at Tee's to Please and More, on the east side of court square. Festival t-shirts will be on sale there, and people who register could win awards for being the oldest woman and man, and the person who traveled the farthest distance from the east and west to attend the Homecoming.
10 a.m. is when the Car, Truck, Motorcycle and Antique Car Show opens on the south side of North Arkansas Electric.
The Squirt Race for children age 10 and under goes off at 10 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. is when the always fast and furious Terrapin Race takes off. On second thought, make that the slow and chaotic Terrapin Race.
At noon, children's games will be offered on the south side of the court square.
Also at noon, Kiddie Parade participants begin lining up at the former Orr Lumber Company, for their 12:30 start.
The Festival Parade starts getting organized at 12:15, when floats and beauty queens line up at Preacher Roe Park, cars, antique tractors and motorcycles come together at Burch's Custom Butchering and horses and buggys line up at the old rodeo arena.
Parade fans need to be in place by 1 p.m., when units start passing by -- led by Grand Marshal Monte McCullough, who is being honored for his many years of service as festival chairman.
After the parade, it's back to the court square for more visiting and refreshments.
If you haven't had enough by evening, the Ozark Mountain Music Makers will welcome you for some pickin' and grinnin', beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Several class reunions and family reunions are also planned during the homecoming weekend and, on Monday, May 28, everyone is invited to a Memorial Day observance. Salem VFW post 9777 will hold a service at 11 a.m.
Fulton County should be good at planning and action packed Homecoming Festival. After all, residents have been doing it since 1949 -- making this the 63rd annual festival.