Hundreds attend the Pope County Deer Festival parade - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Hundreds attend the Pope County Deer Festival parade

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Hundreds of spectators lined downtown Golconda on Saturday for the Pope County Deer Festival parade. 

This is the 59th year for the festival, which marks the first deer shotgun season of the year, as Pope County is the "Deer Capital" of the state. 

The event is put on by the Rotary Club and is a tradition for both hunters and community members. 

The parade is a highlight of the now three-day festival with marching bands representing area high schools, fire trucks from multiple towns, and even Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus made an appearance. 

Many families know to bring a pillow case or bag as many floats in the parade throw out candy to the kids. 

Visitors were also to shop from local vendors for crafts and food. 

Along with being a long-standing tradition, the festival is also the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Rotary Club. 

Funds raises from the event go to provide scholarships to local students. 

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