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A firetruck leads the way for the parade at the 2018 Hillsboro Homecoming and Festival.

The 28th annual Hillsboro Homecoming and Festival is set for Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, and will including a parade, carnival rides, live music and other festivities.

Also at the event, first responders and teachers will be honored.

“Our theme this year is ‘Hillsboro Heroes: Celebrating First Responders and Teachers,’” said Mandy Alley, administrator for the Greater Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the festival. “We’re incorporating that theme into the parade and some of the activities. For the parade (which starts at 11 a.m. Saturday), we’ve invited teachers and first responders to participate.”

She said Hillsboro R-3 School District and Good Shepherd School teachers have officially been invited, but all teachers are welcome, as are all first responders.

Festival activities are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday. Alley said several popular activities will return. In addition to the parade, carnival rides and live music, there will be craft and vendor booths, a car show, a 5K run, children’s activities, contests and more.

Most activities will be held on or around the city’s Main Street, but festivities actually begin with a golf tournament on Thursday, May 16, at Raintree Country Club and Golf Course, 5925 Plantation Drive, in the Hillsboro area.

A shotgun start will be at 11 a.m. Entry is $80 a person or $320 for a foursome, which includes 18 holes of golf, use of a golf cart, lunch and dinner. Proceeds will benefit the chamber’s scholarship and festival funds.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in each of three flights. A number of contests, like longest drive and closest to the pin, will be included. To register, visit the chamber website at www.hillsborochamberofcommerce.com.

Alley said the festival will include a new event, a teen-focused activity called Teen Time featuring local teen bands that will play from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday.

“It will be on the main stage on Main Street,” she said. “Two bands will perform: Proceed from Afar, a band of students from Hillsboro High that plays alternative rock, and 55South, a classic rock band from Windsor High School.”

She said another new attraction will be an appearance by the Gateway Superfriends on Saturday.

“They dress up as superheroes and villains,” she said. “They’ll go around and will have their pictures taken with kids.

Below are the festival’s scheduled events.


■ 5:30 p.m. – Welcome and official opening.

■ 5:30-7 p.m. – 55 South classic rock band will perform.

■ 7-7:30 p.m. – Proceed from Afar alternative rock band will perform

■ 6 p.m. – Carnival rides will open. Ride armbands cost $20, entitling the wearer to unlimited rides for either 6-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday or 6-11 p.m. Saturday. The armbands may be purchased in advance for $18 at the Bank of Hillsboro, First State Community Bank in Hillsboro and Eagle Bank in Hillsboro (deadline to buy armbands in advance is 4 p.m. May 17).

■ 8 p.m. – Country/rock band Crossfire takes the stage for a four-hour set.


■ 7 a.m. –5K Run/Walk, with packet pickup starting at 7 a.m. at Hillsboro City Hall on Main Street and the race starting at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 in advance before May 11; $25 after. Awards will be presented to the overall male and female finishers, as well as to the top three finishes in each of several categories. For more information, contact Kathie Thebeau at 636-789-2034 or kathieruns@sbcglobal.net.

■ 7-10 a.m. – Rotary Pancake Breakfast at First Baptist Church, 10545 Business 21, in Hillsboro. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

■ 9 a.m. – Craft and vendor booths open.

■ 11 a.m. – Parade. Participants will line up at 10:30 a.m. behind the Hillsboro Intermediate School. The parade route travels south on Business 21 to west on Main Street, to the Jefferson County Courthouse and ending on Maple Street behind the courthouse. Parade entries are still being sought. To enter, contact Sara Sucharski at 636-931-5818 or sara@ponybird.org. Deadline for completed entries is May 10.

■ 11 a.m. – Carnival opens.

■ Noon – Official opening ceremony, with National Anthem performed by a Hillsboro student.

■ Noon – Shannon Cox & Tin Mine (country music) performs. Sound by Richard Blechler.

■ Noon – Parade awards will be announced.

■ Noon – Kids Korner, sponsored by Hillsboro R-3 School District, will be open until 4 p.m. near the Jefferson County Health Department, 405 Main St. A petting zoo and pony rides will also be offered.

■ Noon – Kiki the Panda, sponsored by Homestar Financial.

■ Noon – Gateway Superfriends.

■ Noon – Hillsboro High School will hold its 4th annual Project Prom fundraiser at the Jefferson County Courthouse parking lot, 300 Main St.

■ Noon to 2 p.m. – Free old-time photos taken by Ted Howell in the basement of the Hillsboro Title Co., 10570 Business 21.

■ 12:30 p.m. – Armed Forces Ceremony at the Jefferson County Administration Center, 729 Maple St. Veterans and active military personnel will be honored at the ceremony.

■ 1 p.m. – Shine N’ Show Car Show, with registration at 12:30 p.m. and the show running through 4 p.m., on Main Street in front of City Hall. Music by Olivia Dougan. Registration costs $15 in advance, $20 at the show. Prizes for top two places in each class, Best in Show and Mayor’s Choice, as well as Kids Future Drivers Choice award. To enter, call the Hillsboro chamber at 636-789-4920.

■ 1 p.m. – Cornhole Tournament near the Jefferson County Health Department.

■ 1:30 p.m. – Hillsboro youth football and cheer performance , followed by 2 p.m. Premiere Martial Arts performance near the Jefferson County Health Department.

■ 2:30 p.m. – Doughnut-eating contest, sponsored by the Donut Hole.

■ 3 p.m. Hillsboro Heroes at Work by the Hillsboro fire and police departments.

■ 4 p.m. – Hillsboro Idol Singing Competition. New this year, duos and trios may compete.

■ 5:30 p.m. – Tom Sampson (country music) performs.

■ 7 p.m. – Line dancing with Earline Abney

■ 8 p.m. – The festival will end with a performance by the Johnathan Braddy Band, which will play country and rock tunes until midnight.

The festival is sponsored by the Greater Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the event will benefit the chamber. For more information, call the chamber at 636-789-4920 or visit the chamber website at www.hillsborochamberofcommerce.com.