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Farm Fest crowd braves heat

SEABOARD – Regardless of the heat, the Northampton County Farm Festival was a success.

Officials with the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce estimated the festival attracted between 700 and 1,000 people to the Seaboard Lions Club property on Friday and Saturday.

Festival-goers who braved the record-breaking heat, that soared into the 100s, enjoyed free rides, entertainment as well as arts, crafts, food vendors and other activities.

“Despite the heat, we had a good turnout,” said Judy Collier, Executive Director of the Chamber.

Collier, along with Chamber President June Warren, worked to coordinate the festival for months, pulling together dozens of sponsors in order to provide free rides and entertainment.

The event boasted an array of local entertainment, including Halifax County native Bishop Dready Manning whose 10 year old grandson joined him on drums. Kinston native Bill Lyerly and his band also took the stage.

“Everything we had to offer was first class,” said Warren, noting the quality of the activities. “Those that came out enjoyed their time.”

Warren thanked the Board of Northampton County Commissioners for their support of the festival and highlighted how it was important to have events within the county.

“In our county there are a lot of children and (adult) seniors that don’t get to take long vacations,” said Warren, referring to the current economic situation.

Both Collier and Warren assured Farm Festival will return next year.

“Yes, we definitely will (have the festival again),” said Collier. “It’s something the county needs.”

Plans are already in the works for next year’s festival, which Warren promises will be “bigger and better.”

Warren said the Chamber is in works with an entertainment sound company to bring in bands and several of the vendors have been scheduled onto the calendar. The amusement ride company has also been booked to return.

“We are already planning…I’m looking forward to it,” said Warren. “I just love a festival; it brings the kid out in everybody.”