Weather doesn’t dampen Farm Fest spirit

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, June 9, 2009

JACKSON — Despite that uncontrollable factor called the weather, the Northampton County Farm Festival was a hit.

On Friday and Saturday, thousands gathered for the second annual event, organized by the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce, at the grounds of the Cultural and Wellness Center.

Visitors to the festival enjoyed rides, music, displays as well as craft and food vendors.

According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Collier, the event saw an estimated 2,500 people over the two day period.

“Considering the weather, I was very pleased,” she said. “Everything went well.”

On Friday night, torrential rain and storms moved through the area. Collier said organizers chose to close the festival grounds early for the public’s safety and to protect sensitive electronic equipment for the bands.

Before those storms moved through, Collier said the event saw a steady stream of people. It was the same for Saturday as people from all over the Roanoke Chowan area flocked to the festival.

Several bands, including ones from the local area, provided the crowd with diverse tunes from gospel to rock to country and rhythm and blues.

“Tequila Sunrise (of Gaston) did a wonderful job in coordinating the entertainment,” said Collier.

Both the young and the old took advantage of the rides, which were upgraded from last year.

Alan Slade of Millennium, along with is wife, brought their two grandchildren. Slade rode with his granddaughter, Sydney Jones, 3, on a spinning teacup-like ride that incited giggles from the child.

Demetria Williams of Murfreesboro stopped in for a bit with sons Tristan, 7, and Trishawn, 5.

The festival was a surprise for the family as they were driving back from church when they came upon the event.

“It’s wonderful,” said Williams. “I’d be glad to come out next year.”

Several of the festival’s vendors came from afar to sell their merchandise, but, perhaps, none further than Ginger and Mark Sargent of Center Barnstead, New Hampshire.

The festival was the couple’s first show selling Bistro Blends vinegar and oil-based dressings and marinades and they received a welcoming response.

“Everyone who tried it liked it,” said Ginger Sargent.

She added there was a curiosity with them being from New Hampshire.

Collier credited several of the county’s departments with everything going so smoothly at the festival.

Organizers of the Farm Festival are already looking to the future.

Collier said the Chamber is already planning for next year’s festival.