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South Boston prepares for downtown festival

The 19th annual South Boston Downtown Harvest Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues until 5 p.m., according to Tamyra Vest, South Boston community development coordinator.

“Main and North Main streets will be the focus of Saturday’s daytime activities with handmade arts and crafts along the street, entertainment on three stages and food around every corner, including those Cinn-sational Cinnamon Rolls in Constitution Square,” said Vest.

Other activities include balloon sculpting by Skeedaddle the Clown, face painting, karaoke, magic shows, pony rides and much more, Vest said.

The HCHS JROTC will be back again this year helping children make their own life-sized scarecrow. Straw and old clothes will be available at the grassy space next to Carter Bank and Trust from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Vest explained. The cost is $10, or $5 if the child brings his or her own old clothes.

The Family Entertainment Stage located in Constitution Square will feature Chaz the Magician at 10 and 3, as well as strolling, said Vest.

The Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard takes the stage at 11 and 2, and The Wildlife Center of Virginia will present “Birds of Prey” at 1.

Lori Reaves and the dancers from “We’ve Got Rhythm” Dance Academy perform at 1:45, with Opry Stage Entertainment Karaoke at various times, Vest said.

There will be a child safety seat inspection station on Arch Street from 1 until 4 p.m. “Officers with the South Boston Police Department and neighboring agencies will be on hand with information on the proper installation of child safety seats,” Vest said. “Law enforcement officers will answer any questions about child seat safety and also will help install child seats in vehicles if requested.”

South Boston Fire Department will have a display on Arch Street, and members will be handing out literature on fire safety and fire prevention, Vest said.

The Halifax County Public Schools Motor Sports Academy Pit Stop will be in the parking lot by Stage 2 at the corner of Charles and Main streets near SunTrust Bank, Vest said. “There will be racecar and go kart rides in addition to a competition,” she explained.

Tinkers Car Club Fall Cruz-In will be held in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center parking lot beginning at 9, and the Downtown Farmers Market will open at 7:30 at 300 Broad Street, featuring homegrown goodies along with The Master Gardeners Help Desk, Vest said.

Another fun event at this year’s Harvest Festival is the pumpkin painting event. “Come and join in the family fun and create your very own special pumpkins,” said Vest. The event will be held on Main Street in front of the grassy space near Carter Bank and Trust from 1 until 3 p.m.

Pumpkins will be available for sale ranging in different sizes and prices. “For a small fee, paints and brushes will be provided for you to paint your pumpkin,” Vest explained. “It costs $1 to paint the pumpkin, plus the cost of the pumpkin. We will have $2, $3 and $4 pumpkins available.”

Parents are asked not to drop off their children at the pumpkin painting. “Please attend with your children,” Vest said. “You also can enter your painted pumpkin in the Halifax County Fair, and they will be judged according to the age group.”

And this afternoon from 5 p.m. until closing, youngsters can preview the five children’s rides by Cole Rides in Constitution Square, Vest said. They include the Heart Flip, Go Gator, Skipper the Dolphin, Spin the Apple and Tubs O’ Fun.