By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor

As the Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching, most think of the time as a kickoff to summer but locally, it is far more. Fulton County has been hosting their Annual Homecoming Festivities on Memorial Day for nearly threequarters of a century and this year is no different.“ There is No place Like home” is the theme for the 74thAnnual Fulton County Homecoming and registration for events is ongoing, but the amount of fun always grows. This year’s celebration is extra special because for the first time in the history of the parade, Fulton County has a new claim to fame. They have two of their three high school girl’s basketball teams as state1A and 3A champions in Mammoth Spring and Salem. These girls and their coaches will be together for the first time, honored with their coaches to serve as the Grand Marshals. From food, music, dancing, parades, car show, 5K race, Baggo and horseshoe pitching, to the hilarious terrapin races, everyone always enjoys the sharing of memories and friendships around the square. The 2023 festivities kick off on Friday evening, May 26 for festival goers with a street dance, featuring Dead-wood Groove. Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes to listen to the music starting at 7 p.m. Also going on is a friendly Baggo competiton. The fun begins with team registration beginning at6:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Whatever and Barkers Hilltop Package Store. As the night ends, Saturday begins bright and early at 8 a.m. with the race that makes the festival truly American. The Apple Pie 5K Run or Walk. This event, sponsored by the Bank of Salem is al-ways a crowd favorite. Runners may sign up at until 5p.m. on May 25, so be sure to get registered. This year’s race will be held in hon-or of Mark Thomas. The run/walk begins and ends on the court square. The run features 11age divisions for both men and women plus one walking division. Silver awards will be presented to the first male and first female finishers and medallions will be given to the first, second and third place finishers in each age division. Homemade apple pies are given to the first20 overall finishers. At 9 a.m. The Third Annual Bill Hill Memorial Day Car Show will kick off at Hill’s Auto Sales, located at 424 Highway 62 Eastin Salem. The $25 entry fee for exhibitors includes a tee shirt. Registration is from9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with an 11 a.m. trophy presentation ceremony. Free food from Joes Barbecue will be served from 10 a.m. until noon. At 12:30p.m., participants will line up to ride in the parade. All proceeds benefit the Bill Hill Scholarship Fund. Salem’s Old Main will open at 10 a.m. for those who would like to tour the building or take a look at their class composites. The Annual All School Reunion for all classes will also be held as a drop in event all day for those who may like to visit with class-mates and the community, It will begin following the 1 p.m. parade. Class reunions have been set for sever-al classes with separate venues during the Homecoming event as well. Salem High School Classes of 1954, 1958, 1959,1973, 1983, 1988 and1993 have already set their events. Be sure to visit the individuals in charge of organizing each to spend time with former classmates during the festival. At 10 a.m. Elite Home Health will sponsor the Tracy Lamb Memorial Squirt Race. Children age from stroller babies to ten years old can pre-register at Elite Home Health. The $15 race fee includes a tee shirt. The office is located at 140Highway 62 West in Salem, next door to Palace Drug at the stoplight. Racers can also sign up at 9:15a.m. the day of the race, but pre-registration is encouraged. At 11 a.m. the familiar clang of horseshoes hitting the ringer will be heard as First Choice Health-care of Salem hosts the Horseshoe Pitching Tournament for atrophy and bragging rights. Also one of the children’s favorite events crawls off at 11 a.m. with the terrapin race. This would be a great week to keep your eyes out for winning racers. The event is open to children of all ages and prizes will be awarded by event sponsor Tri-County Medical Supply. Everyone gets to enjoy Fulton County Homecoming as furry friends make their way to the square at noon for the Pet Costume Contest sponsored by Stop the Cycle Spay/Neuter. There is no cost to enter and prizes awarded based on crowd participation. The Pet Costumer contest is open to any house-hold animal but they must be on a leash or in containment of some type.“ There’s No Place Like Home” Parade entrants will begin lining up on Sat. May 27 at 12:30 p.m. at Preacher Roe Park for the 1 p.m parade. Don’t forget the kiddies with those little legs. Bring your wagon, bike, trike, or power wheels for the Kids Parade. The Kiddie Parade begins at1 p.m. with line up12:30 at York Towing Parking Lot. Prizes will be given for most spirited and best decorated kids. At 4 p.m. the Salem VFW will host free Bingo with prizes donated by Chamber of Commerce Members. The year’s festivities will conclude with the Gospel Group Doxocology performing the square from 6-8 p.m. For more information on events of the festival, visit the Salem Chamber of Commerce Facebook