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New Orleans without the drive

Bring together street vendors serving up fresh-cooked Cajun and Creole foods, set up a band at nearly every street corner in downtown, throw in a few more festivities and you've got the perfect ambience for a street party.

It all takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Jazz Up Dunnellon. Festival activities will be held at sites along Pennsylvania Avenue and on a few side streets. This means that great jazz or blues bands will grace any given corner or business parking lot, while just a few doors away, the mouth-watering aroma of Cajun cuisine will entice. Free parking is available at several downtown sites. Though admission is free, a $1 armband is available for discounts on food.

Most of the businesses in the festival area are either staging live music or providing special food. Attending Jazz Up Dunnellon can entail several blocks of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and maybe even some insect repellent.

This year's scheduled entertainers include Good Company; Joe Michel Quintet; Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues; Moon Dancer; Spectacular Gimmicks; Saxaltation Ministries; Dunnellon Male Chorus; Keith Caton & The Accelerators; Calaco; Donald J. ; Paul Luciano; Nino Castenada Latin Jazz Band; Dunnellon Middle School Jazz Band; Virginia Hess-Burrows and Myrtice Powell.

Ocala Carriage & Tours will be offering carriage rides along the entertainment route, which will also feature displays of classic cars and motorcycles.

The Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce is selling $1 armbands to help pay for the festival.

Parking will be at the Dunnellon Middle School off Cedar St., State Road 40, and there will be a shuttle service from the school to the library.

Many of the businesses and restaurants downtown will be open later to brighten up the festivities.

Call the Dunnellon Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-830-2087 or (352) 489-2320 visit the Web site at www.dunnellonchamber.org or e-mail dchamberatlantic.net for information.

The Jazz Up Dunnellon festival will be held in conjunction with the second annual Marion County Springs Festival, which will take place at Rainbow Springs State Park on U.S. 41 N from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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