Dale Waters, Sr. played Oliver Hardy at last year's Oliver Hardy Festival in Harlem.
File photoHarlem's population is expected to swell Saturday to around 26,000, as area and international visitors come to the city for the 14th Annual Oliver Hardy Festival and Dance.
Events have been planned throughout the day at City Hall, on the main stage next to the police department, at the new Oliver Hardy Museum and at the Harlem High School football field, where festival goers will wrap it up dancing to the tunes of The Swingin' Medallions.
Events begin at 9 a.m. with a children's parade, while the main parade will begin an hour later at 10 a.m. About 60 entries are scheduled to march, including the Harlem High School band and the Shade Tree A's of Augusta auto club. Oliver Hardy look-alikes will be the grand marshals for the parade, which is being coordinated by the Lions Club.
"We'll have arts and crafts, food vendors, antiques and collectibles. There will also be carnival rides, games and a petting zoo for the children," said City Clerk Jean Dove.
In all, spots have been rented to more than 300 vendors. The Harlem Fire Department will sell barbecue chicken as a fund-raiser for the department.
Musical acts will performat City Hall until around 4:30 p.m., including a Laurel and Hardy skit by the Harlem High School drama department at 11 a.m. One of the highlights of the festival is the look-alike contest which will be held on the main stage at 1:30 p.m.
The Oliver Hardy Festival and the Columbia County West Rotary Club will hold a family bicycle tour of Harlem. The metric century (65 miles) starts at 8:45 a.m. for expert riders. Another ride will begin at 11 a.m., an optional 10- or 12-mile family ride. Both begin at the Woman's Club.
The festival will conclude that evening with a dance at 6:30 p.m. at the Harlem High football field, where the city of Harlem will present the Swingin' Medallions. Tickets, which are available at City Hall and other locations around town, cost $7.50 in advance or $10 at the gate.
For a parade application or for more information, call Harlem City Hall at 556-3448. For more information about the family bicycle tour call City Hall, or David Titus at 556-8090.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.