Driver Days returns

Published 10:08 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

Driver’s premier event of the year returns this weekend.

Now in its 23rd year, Driver Days Fall Festival will bring thousands to the local storefronts along Kings Highway on Oct. 15 and 16.

“There will be something for everybody,” said Terri Johnson, festival chair.

Email newsletter signup

The festival will have vendors, music performances, running events, unique contests and much more.

More than 90 vendors from around the region will be on site selling food, jewelry, art and other products.

The event will begin on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the kids’ one-miler followed by the StrongWILL 5K run. The run will honor William West, the brother of event organizer April Brooks, who passed away from a drug overdose earlier this year. The race will raise awareness for drug addiction in the area.

The opening parade, one of the most popular events, will start at 10 a.m. and feature a host of community leaders, local businesses and public officials.

Later on that day and the following day, Ronnie and Amy Shirley of popular reality television show, “Lizard Lick Towing,” will be signing autographs.

Throughout the day, there will be wing-eating contests, a car show and performances from local country, bluegrass and pop bands.

The following day, the festival will open with the Sherri Parker Memorial Poker run. The festival was originally introduced as a memoriam for Parker, who died in a motorcycle accident.

In the afternoon, another crowd favorite will take center stage — the Parade of Bikes. Motorcyclists will drive from Sleepy Hole Park through Driver.

The festival will conclude with a pet costume contest, band performances and other events.

Over the years, the festival has attracted between 8,000 to 10,000 people. In addition, it typically raises upwards of $10,000 in donations, according to Derrold Mark, owner of Big D’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice Cones LLC and festival treasurer.

Donations have been given to local charities and organizations, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, the Driver Volunteer Fire Department and others.

“It’s not so much for the businesses but for the local charities we donate to,” Mark said.