Harvest Festival crowd breaks records
by Lindsay Craven
The “granddaddy of festivals” held its 36th year on Sept. 15. The Yadkin Valley Harvest Festival closed the streets of downtown Yadkinville to celebrate the beginnings of fall.
The festival kicked off at 9 a.m. with vendors lining the streets and the scent of festival food filling the air.
An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people strolled the streets of the festival this year making it the largest crowd to date.
A total of 110 vendors set up shop, which is an increase from last year’s 94 and the largest vendor presence ever for the festival.
An official welcoming ceremony was hosted by Yadkin County Arts Council President John Willingham. Joe Hobson led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance and Starmount High School Show Choir performed the National Anthem while the Yadkin County VFW stood at attention presenting colors.
Live music drifted through the event throughout the day. Two stages were set, the main stage at Elm Street in front of the courthouse and the YCAC stage alongside the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center.
Blues Deville, Rude Mood, Wurlitzer Prize Band and Risky Bizzness entertained from the main stage while Promise Breakers Band, Oil and Renegar Band and Rockford Express performed on the YCAC stage.
The Yadkin Valley Idol Contest also drew a crowd with four contestants vying for the honor of the 6 to 14 age category and three contestants competing for the 15 and up category.
Mikaley Lane took home first place in the 6 to 14 age range with Addy Marshall taking the runner up position. Michaela Cockerham took first in the 15 and up category with Ashley Collins winning the runner up position.
Winners of the contest took home $300 and runner up contestants took home $100. Cockerham will also receive a $100 signing bonus to perform at this year’s Grape Festival, which takes place Oct. 20 in Yadkinville.
Several of the downtown business had their doors open to welcome the community. The sidewalks were lined with antiques overflowing from the stores. The public library also took to the streets for the festival.
At noon the library held a dedication ceremony for the mosaic tile wall design created by YCAC Yard Artist Jody Pounds as a gift to the Yadkin County Public Library. Pounds said that every year she tries to create a project or two for a charitable cause and head librarian Malinda Sells really wanted to see some color at the front of the library. This inspired Pounds to create a special piece titled “Flow” on a brick wall along the front of the library.
The library also held storytelling with Vicky Town, a dog obedience demo, a farm animal petting zoo, book sale and a craft table for kids.
Yadkin County Cooperative Extension and Farm Bureau banded together to fill a parking lot along Elm Street. Vendors from the Yadkin Farmer’s Market sold pumpkins, plants, apples and more to festival goers looking for local produce while Farm Bureau had a lineup of tractors on display.
Information was provided for those wishing to do water and soil testing at home and how to raise chickens in your yard.
A quilt show was held in the classrooms in the YCAC where Yadkin Quilt Guild members worked on a piece during the show. The ladies explained their techniques and passed along their quilting experience and knowledge as they worked diligently.
There were plenty of activities for the kids with a inflatables play area on Jackson Street, face painting vendors located throughout the festival, and costumed characters from the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office and other vendors who walked around taking pictures and hugs from children and some adults.
Willingham said that corporate sponsors and vendors contributed a total of $15,000 to this year’s festival to cover the costs.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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