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Each year, Florida's governor declares the fourth week in October "Florida Forestry Week," to coincide with the Florida Forest Festival in Taylor County
Forestry is Florida's No. 1agricultural crop, above citrus, and among Florida's 67 counties, Taylor County is No. 1 in forestry, according to the University of Florida.
More than 20,000 people are expected join in the annual celebration as the festival marks its 56th year on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Forest Capital State Park in Perry.
The festivities kick off in earnest on Thursday, Oct. 20, with the "fabulous" fireworks display at Perry-Foley Airport on Industrial Drive at U.S. 19 at 8 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 21, will see festivities move to historic downtown Perry for the Strutt Your Mutt Dog Parade at 5 p.m., the annual Kids' Parade around the courthouse square at 6 p.m., the Gaslight Antique Car Parade at 7:30 p.m., and a 50s/60s Sock Hop. Concessions, kids' games and more fill out the evening's festivities.
Saturday, Oct. 22, brings the annual King Tree Parade through downtown Perry at 10 a.m. The action moves to Forest Capital State Park on U.S. 19 wheremore than 75 arts and crafts vendors open at 9 a.m. along with dozens special concessions and food booths.
Forestry-related events include professional lumberjack shows at noon, 2:30 and 4 p.m., a kid's lumberjack camp at 2:30 p.m., chainsaw competition, loader competition and cross cut saw competition.
The World's Largest Free Fish Fry starts at noon as an estimated 6,000 people will receive a free lunch of fried catfish, baked beans and coleslaw.
The mainstage entertainment begins at 12:30 p.m. and will include performances from the Grammy Award-winning country singer David Ball as well as Alibi, Southern Rain and Broken Trust. The entertainment will also include the festival's Sing Out Loud competition.
For more information, call 850-584-8733 or visit www.floridaforestfestival.com.