Dixie Chamber hopes to revive Red Belly Day in 2009

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By Jeff M. Hardison

Kay McCallister of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce said that although Red Belly Day has been cancelled for 2008, the event may happen in 2009.

The previous 12 annual Red Belly Day festivals happened during the Memorial Day holiday.

"We hope to continue it in the future," she noted in an e-mail.

The Dixie County Chamber appreciates everyone's efforts on this event, she said. Even though there is no guarantee of Red Belly Day happening in 2009, McCallister noted the Dixie County Chamber plans to "restructure the event and try to increase our pool of individuals who are willing to give of their valuable time to help."

The Chamber president noted the choice of the group to not hold the festival in 2008 was tough.

"This was a difficult decision, as we know many of our local residents

enjoy the annual event, and it is a great opportunity to showcase our area," Chamber President Julie Squires said.

Bob Leichner, who has been very involved in Red Belly Day for the past few years, told members and guests at the annual Fanning Springs Chamber of Commerce banquet that the event died for lack of support from volunteers, and that some Dixie County business interests did not see enough return from the investment.

Now the Dixie Chamber says it hopes to revive the festival in 2009.