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The third Saturday in September, downtown Fort Payne booms with toe-tapping music, Southern art, food and fun in celebration of its heritage. During the last portion of the nineteenth century, Fort Payne experienced a huge coal and iron boom followed by a textile manufacturing boom during the twentieth century that led to the city’s one time claim of “Sock Capital of the World,” and to commemorate, the mountaintop town offers a day-long, family-friendly street party. The seventh annual Boom Days Heritage Celebration is set for September 15, 2012.
Covering five blocks in the downtown district, festival goers will find street performers meandering up and down the streets, a variety of music flowing from four stages, dozens of skilled artisans in City Park, a car show in Alabama Park, vendors lining the streets, and cultural and historical exhibits on display at the Depot Museum and Hosiery Museum. A pancake breakfast in the morning, a barbecue bash in the afternoon, and a wide variety of eats in the food court throughout the day will keep the crowd well fed.
Live music fills the air beginning at 10 a.m. Scheduled to perform at this year’s event are Dean Mitchell, Simply 4 Jesus, Memphis Annie, New Binkley Brothers, Fleetwood Covington, Max Russell & the Shakedown Kings, Shar-Baby, Chris Herring & True Blues, Mountain Wind, Bert David Newton, Smoky Greenwell Band, Will Dooley, Thomas Henry Band, Todd Simpson & Mojo Child, Chris Simmons, and Ryan McGarvey Band. The celebration culminates with the Rock and Roll Show featuring April Mae & the June Bugs and Theresa Andersson. The concerts are set for 8 p.m. at the DeKalb Theatre (admission charged.)
The city’s downtown district will be closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free for all daytime, outdoor events. Additional activities held in conjunction with the Boom Days Heritage Celebration include a doughnut eating contest between the Fort Payne Police Department and the Fort Payne Fire Department, carriage rides, a 5K run, a pet parade, a wine tasting, a quilt exhibit and a children’s activity area located in City Park. Downtown merchants will also operate sidewalk sales. For more information, call the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce at 256.845.2741 or visit www.boomdays.org.