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Chick it out!
Spring Chicken Festival kicks off week of tasty events in downtown Gainesville
Justin Kemp cooks chicken wings during last year's Spring Chicken Festival in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Tom Reed

Spring Chicken Festival

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Downtown Gainesville

How much: Free family activities; cook-off sampling wristbands are $8 for adults, $5 for children

Contact: 770-531-1102

Blue Sky Concert Series

What: Steve Bryson Band performing

When: noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Downtown Gainesville

How much: Free; box lunches available for $6

Cinco de Mayo

When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, May 5

Where: Downtown Gainesville

How much: Free

Contact: 770-297-1141

The next seven days will be filled with a flurry of activity in downtown Gainesville.

Kicking things off is the annual Spring Chicken Festival this weekend.

The poultry celebration begins with a parade at 9 a.m. Saturday. The parade will begin the Suntrust Bank on Washington Street and wrap around the downtown square before concluding back at the bank.

"This is the first time that we've had a parade in conjunction with the festival," said Cindy Reed, the executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful, the organization behind the celebration.

The festival also includes a chicken cook-off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a number of children's activities at Roosevelt Square.

The cook-off will feature both professionals and amateur cooks as well as area eateries.

Wristbands allowing attendees to sample the competition fare will be on sale for $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 10. There's no charge for children ages 5 and younger.

Wednesday will be the season opener of the Blue Sky Concert Series on the downtown square. Main Street Gainesville, which hosts the event, has selected four different musical acts to perform every Wednesday in May from noon to 1 p.m.

Each week will highlight a different genre of music.

The Steve Bryson Band, a country act, will perform first. There will also be a classic rock, contemporary jazz and piano rock concerts during the upcoming weeks.

The concerts are free and attendees can bring their own lunch to enjoy, or they can purchase a $6 box lunch at each of the performances.

From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 5, downtown merchants will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

There will be live music on the downtown square throughout the event, with a featured performance by Georgia Whiskey from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Many downtown businesses will have extended hours for the Cinco de Mayo celebration.