By Joel Hall
With clear skies and warm weather expected, Lovejoy city officials are excited about the Autumn Festival underway through Sunday at the Gerald Matthews Sports Complex.
Today, the festival will feature performances, special activities, amusements, and a parade starting at 11 a.m.
"We're keeping an eye on the Weather Channel and, so far, we have less than a 20 percent chance of rain, and 85- to 95-degree weather," said Marci Fluellyn, a Lovejoy City Council member and organizer of the event. "They have an awesome show prepared for everybody, especially the drum line performance, with the majorettes and the Dancing Diamonds (squad)."
The Lovejoy High School Marching band will lead a parade around the Gerald Matthews Sports Complex, followed by an hour-long "jam session" and drum line performance from 12-1 p.m. The performance will be a combination of music, dance, and showmanship.
From 1:30-3 p.m., there will be live musical performances from Atlanta rapper "Dat Boy Tragic," Chicago-based entertainer, "4-IZE," and a variety of local performers, courtesy of Super Entertainment Records.
A step show will take place from 3 p.m., to 4 p.m., featuring step teams from local high schools and colleges.
Arts, crafts, and food vendors will be on site Saturday, from 9 a.m., to 8 p.m. The carnival -- featuring Ferris wheels, "Dumbo rides," cotton candy, funnel cakes, and other perks -- will take place along side the festival from 10 a.m., to 11 p.m., today, and on Sunday, from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m.
The entire event is free to the public. Fluellyn said participation among vendors has been high in anticipation of the event, and as of Friday afternoon, 53 were already signed up.
Rebekah Holland, a member of the Lovejoy City Council, is expecting a high turnout.
"It's supposed to be a very, very hot day," said Holland. "I think the rain is going to hold off, and we're going to have a very productive day."
The Gerald Matthews Sports Complex is located at 1935 McDonough Road in Hampton.