Malone Pecan Festival and Fun Day

In this Floridan file photo, Daniel Williams, left, and Rayna Coker watch the Malone Pecan Festival parade.

The Malone Pecan Festival and Fun Day is set for Saturday, Nov. 16 with plenty of treats for the eyes, ears and appetites. Country music star Shane Owens is set to be the featured performer, but there will be music from other genres, including soul, gospel and early rock-and-roll.

A car show highlights the day’s visuals, along with vendor booths, children’s activities, and an early morning hearty breakfast available to get the day started right for early risers; plates start moving at 6 a.m. and proceeds benefit the Malone Soccer League.

The Marianna Mustang and Ford Club Open Car Show will be one highlight of the Malone Pecan Festival on Saturday, Nov. 16, with the cars on display from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. All makes and models are welcome, and car show participants will be asked for a $20 registration to put their vehicles on display and compete for best of show and peoples’ choice awards. A portion of proceeds benefits Partners for Pets. For more information, call 954-224-0204.

The parade rolls out at 10 a.m.

There are children’s activities, and entertainment. The performers include some celebrity- impersonators, including: Yowanda Lawson as Aretha Franklin; Jerome Jackson as Elvis Presley; and Alonzo Russell as Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke. The Tabitha Morris gospel band will also perform. The Shane Owens show will wrap up the day’s entertainment as the featured performance.

Malone Mayor Gene Wright says he wants this 35th annual festival to be the biggest and most special yet.

“We missed one, for the first time in 35 years, due to Hurricane Michael. That’s one reason I want this one to be very special; I want it to be ‘850 strong,’ not just for Malone but for the entire county and surrounding areas. We want everyone to come out and have nothing but fun—not worry about hurricanes or anything else. It’s like we have PTSD from that in a way; you know, you drive down the road and a tear comes to the eye when you look at the landscape sometimes. But we want this to be a day when we can put all that and all other worries and sadness aside. I really want this one to be special.”

It’s shaping up to be that way: There are roughly 80 vendors coming this year---that’s double the number that showed up for several years — and the city has the happy problem of fitting them all into the downtown venue that stretches around the corner of State Road 71 and 9th Street.

The festival has some new attractions this year, including a ‘wrecking ball’ ride and mechanical swings, as well as a rock wall and a mechanical bull ride.

The vehicle show, Wright said, has expanded to double its expected size.

“This is going to be a great one,” he said. “Our music is Motown to Memphis to Malone; we’ve got a little bit of it all, including gospel, and that’s what I wanted...sounds that celebrate all kinds of music in our world and a wide variety of things to see and do so that there’s something for everyone.”

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