Thomasville Times Enterprise

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March 5, 2014

FAMILY TRADITION

THOMASVILLE — It’s that time of year again to get hog wild.

Saturday will mark the 7th annual Gilliard Day. Events will be from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Gilliard’s Store on Hwy 93 between Pelham and Cairo.

Since its beginning, Gilliard’s Store has been known as “home of the whole hog sausage.”

Even though the Gilliard Day is relatively small in comparison to other events in the area, it has attracted close to 5,000 visitors in some years.

The first Gilliard Day happened by accident. A group of musicians wanted to play for people and the Gilliard family teamed up to make it happen.

After the bands showed interest in playing at the store for an event,  the first Gilliard Day was organized in a matter of weeks.

Since its beginning, activities at the event have grown. This year, Gilliard Day will have an antique car show sponsored by S.W.GA. Classics & Customs, helicopter rides, food, arts and crafts, bouncy houses for children, vendors, pony rides, pig train rides and music.

The entertainment will be family oriented, including Jeff David and the Tired Creek Bank, Ben Law from Nashville, Tenn., Wild at Heart Cheerleaders, Mark Pitts’ Tribute to Elvis, Just Us and The Johnnie Marshall Band.

Gilliard’s Store has been open since 1945 and has remained in the family. Marion and Thelma Gilliard were the founders of the store. They are in their 90s and can still be seen at the store from time to time.

Today, Dinah Bonds, Kermit Gilliard Sr., Kermit Gilliard Jr. and Nat Bonds operate the business.

Gilliard Sr expects the latest Gilliard Day to be a big success if the weather cooperates.

He said, “I think everything will be fun for everyone this year. This is an opportunity for the community to come together and listen to good, free music and have a good time together.”

 For more information on the Gilliard Store and Day, visit www.wholehogsausage.com.

 

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