BONIFAY — Bonifay’s 9th Annual Down Home Street Festival is coming together for Saturday, March 18, thanks to a handful of volunteers who came together to keep the hometown tradition going.
This year’s festival is scaled down significantly from years past due to a shortage of funding and volunteers to organize the event. Activities will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Veterans Blvd. next to Memorial Field.
A brief opening ceremony will welcome patrons to the festival at 9 a.m. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the event to enjoy the lineup of entertainment.
Local author Bill Lee will lead the lineup at 9:15 with a short reading of his book, “Dirt Roads Leave Ruts in Your Soul,” containing essays about life growing up on the family farm in a rural community.
North Florida Wild West Show will take festival-goers a little further back in time to the days of cowboy life in the Old West with reenactments of camping, shootouts and cattle driving. The Wild West show will roll on at 9:40, 11:00, 11:40 and 1:30.
Bonifay ATA will present a martial arts demonstration at 10:00, and EJ Sound Machine will keep events flowing with a dance party at 11:20. Christian duo Alison & Tabitha will perform gospel favorites at noon.
Bonifay Fire-Rescue is hosting the annual Car Show. Vehicles may register for a $20 fee from 7 to 10 a.m. the morning of the festival. For more information on entry, call 850-527-0600. Car show winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m. before the festival’s closing announcements.
Kids will have a lot to do at the Down Home Street Festival. Each child can jump all day for $5 each in a variety of inflatable bounce houses provided by Jumping Jacks. Holmes County Public Library will provide face painting, and Bass Pro Shops will bring a Kids Fish Casting Rally.
This year’s festival sponsors are Tobacco Free Florida and Holmes County Farm Bureau. Organizers hope the festival will have enough volunteers to bring events such as the Black-Eyed Pea Samplin', Dancing in the Street and Baking Wars back next year.
Saturday’s weather forecast includes partly cloudy skies, with the temperature peaking out at a pleasant high of 75 degrees. Last year’s festival was canceled due to bad weather and lightning. The 2015 event also battled rainy conditions, but still delivered its biggest entertainment lineup ever with a nighttime music festival.
Food and craft vendors will be in attendance, and community organizations will be on hand with information booths. Festival admission is free.
2017 Bonifay Down Home Street Festival Events
9:00 a.m. – Welcome / Announcing of Queens
9:15 a.m. – Local Author Bill Lee
9:40 a.m. – North Florida Wild West Show
10:00 a.m. – Bonifay ATA Martial Arts Demonstration
11:00 a.m. – North Florida Wild West Show
11:20 a.m. – EJ Sound Machine Dance Party
11:40 p.m. – North Florida Wild West Show
12:00 p.m. – Alison & Tabitha Gospel Performance
1:30 p.m. – Announcement of Car Show winners / North Florida Wild West Show
1:50 p.m. – Closing Announcements