This year’s edition of Spirit On Mountain Street will be held Saturday around and in JSU Stadium.

The annual festival which celebrates the new school year and football season keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to effort of the City of Jacksonville, local business and Jacksonville State University. This will be the ninth year for the event which raised $12,700 last year for the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Program.

David Glass, who has helped Spirit On Mountain Street grow into one of the biggest events in the city, spoke to last week’s Exchange Club meeting at the Jacksonville Train Depot.

This year’s event kicks off at 2 p.m. with JSU’s Marching Southerners holding a practice session.

That’s followed at 2:30 by five local musicians – Riley Green, Blake Flood, Tim Johnson and Kim Nichols and Tony Irby. That will last until 6:30.

The 2014 Gamecock football players and coaching staff will be available for autographs at 3 p.m. at Stephenson Hall. The JSU Cheerleaders and Cocky will also be on hand to sign autographs and give away free schedule posters.

The City of Jacksonville and area civic organizations will be hosting their annual “Taste of the Town,” which is local tasters fair benefiting JCOC, a local non-profit organization that offers short-term assistance for individuals and families in need. This event will be held on the main ticket plaza of Burgess-Snow Field and will begin at 4 p.m.

There will also be a Kids Zone, which is sponsored by the Jacksonville Exchange Club on Gamecock Field, beginning at 4 p.m. All proceeds from the Kids Zone will go to prevent child abuse.

Following the “Taste of the Town,” the University will host its annual Community Pep Rally for Jacksonville State University, and local high school football teams including Jacksonville, Jacksonville Christian Academy, Weaver and White Plains.

The JSU Marching Southerners and Ballerinas will perform at 5:45 p.m. inside Burgess-Snow Field, followed by the Pep Rally at 6 p.m. The Jacksonville State football team will then hold an open scrimmage inside JSU Stadium as it prepares for its opener at Michigan State.

The Fan Day, pep rally and scrimmage game admission are free. Tickets for the Taste of the Town are $10 for 10 coupons and may be purchased at the event.

Also in conjunction with Spirit on Mountain Street, the Office of Student Life and JSU’s Summer Reading Program will sponsor the JSU Glow Dash. All proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital to support cancer research. The Glow Dash begins at 7:30 p.m. on Dillon Field. All participants will receive a t-shirt and glow supplies. To participate, register on Entry fee is $20, $25 day of race (on-site registration begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Sharon Ward, a volunteer with JCOC, also spoke to the Exchange Club about the important work the organization does.

Twenty-five local and area churches donate to the JCOC in addition to individuals. Clients who use JCOC must live in the 36265 ZIP code.

The center provides emergency food, clothing for children, utility assistance, prescription drug assistance, gasoline for doctor visits and information and referral. In addition, JCOC has a back to school program (school supplies and vouchers for socks, shoes and underwear) and a Christmas Toyland.

The center hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or when 20 clients have been seen each day.