Bring the boom

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Annual event celebrating town’s discovery Saturday

By Jeff Bryan

Cowboys, classic cars, music, pageants and a pie-eating contest.

Boomtown Days Dunnellon, the decades-long festival celebrating the discovery of phosphate, which sparked a “boom” in population in the city, will bring a bustle into the Historic District from 9 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

There is sure to plenty for all ages, according to Joanne Black, president of the Dunnellon Chamber & Business Association. And those who plan to flock to Dunnellon, expanded parking will be available at Dunnellon Middle School.

“Hold onto your saddles, pull up your boots and come on down to Boomtown – ya hear,” Black exclaimed.

There will be an expanded kids area and the cowboys have “moved into town,” Black explained, noting they will be on the lawn at the Lions Club on the corner of Cedar and Walnut Streets, where they will perform at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m., “and they are bringing horses with them this year.” The Kids’ Zone will feature bounce houses and old-fashioned games such as sack races, wheelbarrow races and three-legged races.

The pageants, which start at 9:30 a.m., with the Boomtown Babies and Tiny Mr. and Miss Dunnellon, leading up to the annual Queen and King of the Rainbow Pageant at 1 p.m. on the Main Stage. More than 50 contestants will compete for top honors, including crowns, tiaras and prizes.

In addition to the pageants, there will be a Classic Car Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well as live entertainment, including Gary Christensen, who will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Final Note, which will be on stage from 3 to 6 p.m. Final Note is made up mostly of members of the Michel family. Kelly and Amy Michel, who own and operate a local automotive repair shop. The Michel’s love story began at the North Miami Beach Symphony.

But to top it off, Harmony Preschool will host the second annual pie-eating contest on the lawn of Six Crazy Chicks on Cedar Street, Black said. Last year’s winner, the Front Porch Restaurant and Pie Shop, will be there to see if it can retain it bragging rights. Harmony Preschool will also have a dunk tank in the kids zone and “we have many local people who have volunteered to take a turn in there,” Black said.

“We, as board members, look forward to seeing everyone at the Boomtown Days event,” Black added. “Your local Dunnellon Chamber & Business Association and volunteers have worked hard to make this a great and fun event. We love our community support and cannot wait until the festivities begin.”

According to historical records, Boomtown Days Dunnellon is approaching its 50th anniversary and the Chamber hopes to track down the information on the first celebration.

“Hopefully, I can put in the time to properly research it before we get to 50 so we can have one heck of a party when we hit 50,” exclaimed Julie Mancini, executive director for the Chamber.


* 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. — Cowboy Shoot Outs, Lions Club.

* Noon to 3 p.m. — Tri-Eagle Tent will offer tasting of Florida Craft Beers from local breweries.

* 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Pie-eating contest, Six Crazy Chicks.

Boomtown Dunk Tank ($1 Donation)

* 10 a.m. — Councilwoman Valerie Hanchar

* 10:30 a.m. — Ashley Constantino.

* Noon — Pastor Tom Golden, River Life Church.

* 1:30 p.m. — Pastor Russ Randall, First Baptist Church.

* 2 p.m. — Pastor Eddie Fulford, First United Methodist Church.

* 2:30 p.m. — Mayor Dale Burns.

* 3 p.m. — Luke Bishop.

Pageant Stage

* 9 to 9:30 a.m. — Markevia Williams, national anthem, and opening ceremony, DCBA.

* 9:30 a.m. — Boomtown Babies and Tiny Mr. and Miss Dunnellon.

* 11 a.m. — Little Mr. and Miss Dunnellon.

* 1 p.m. — Prince and Princess of the Rainbow and King and Queen of the Rainbow.

Final Note Stage

(Sponsored by Kelly’s Auto Repair Service; Michelle Wooten, emcee.)

* 10:15 to 11 a.m. — Mark Smythe: Gypsy Sparrow Music.

* 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Gary Christensen Band.

* 1 to 1:30 p.m. — Victoria Kidd.

* 2:30 to 3 p.m. — Madisun Murphy.

* 3 to 6 p.m. — Final Note Band.