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Hodges festival proceeds, with changes

The Spirit of Hodges Festival is always a favorite in Franklin County, but this year, COVID-19 is bringing some changes to the annual celebration.

Instead of offering vendors and fun activities for all ages, this year the Spirit of Hodges Festival will consist of BBQ plates and live music Oct. 10 in the town park from 3-6 p.m.

“We really went back and forth on how to go about things this year,” said Hodges Mayor Joy Saad. “Some wanted to have a full-fledged festival, which would be nice, but we decided it was probably better to limit things this year so we could handle everything better.”

People can purchase a plate and listen to music while socially distancing. Cooper’s BBQ will be providing the menu, and three different bands will play.

Hodges Fire Chief Leslie Cantrell food will be set up similar to the typical fire department Swamp John’s fundraiser, with small tents and tables set up.

“I think it’s going to be good for everyone to get out, listen to some music and get them some food before the ballgame,” Cantrell said.

Saad said although it is not the festival she originally had in mind, she is happy to do something where people can come together.

“We wish we could have the festival like how we normally do, but we would hate to have something happen where someone gets exposed,” Saad said. “I feel like this will allow us to socially distance, and we can keep a handle on things better.”

Saad said although she is looking forward to the festival, it will not be the same this year without getting to visit with everyone freely.

“We have people come into town just for this, and it is always great getting to talk to everyone and catch up,” Saad said. “This year we won’t have as much liberty to talk with everyone.”

Saad said despite the changes, she is still looking forward to another great year of the Spirit of Hodges Festival – COVID-19 adjustments and all.

“I am still very excited about it,” Saad said. “I think we are going to make a good go at it.”

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