Thursday, November 3, 2005

Fall festivals bring out folks for fun, charity

Staff Writer

October wound down in Holly Springs with two festivals and lots of Halloween fun at area schools and churches.

The third annual Harvest Festival in downtown drew attention for store owners on the square with three businesses setting up sidewalk sales. A budding arts and crafts industry is also gaining a stronger footing at the annual festival begun three years ago, according to Susan Jordan with the Chamber of Commerce. Both cafes downtown also saw a steady flow of customers, she said. Harvest Festival is organized by the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Fidelity National Loans.

Lisa Cole, chairperson for the festival, was pleased with the weather, gospel and country music and the number of vendors showing up.

“Basically, the weather was great, we had good crowds and a fun, relaxed afternoon of entertainment,” Cole said.

Other committee members included Joanne Huff, Carol Person and T.J. Vanzant.

Turnout at the first annual Clydesdale Fall Bash and Car Show was good for starters, with all proceeds this year going directly to families in Waveland. The Collins/Hurdle VFW Post, event host, also raised money from sale of food and drinks to replenish its relief fund.

The fall bash was sponsored by A&B Distributing and Southern Rides.

The event was a success in spite of cold nighttime temperatures, said Brenda Luther, an original organizer of the Clydesdale Christmas Store for kids. She estimated that 400 attended the bash which featured an antique car and a motorcycle show, lots of local blues bands and musicians, comedians and musical guests and bands from Nashville.

Luther offered some personal accounts of why the money raised this year will go entirely to helping families who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina in late August.

Helene Doxey, a former Holly Springs resident who works in the Hancock County School System in Waveland attended the festival.

Doxey told Luther, “I have students in my fourth grade class who are living in tents and anything the Christmas Store can provide will be appreciated.”

Another Waveland resident attending the festival offered a personal account.

“I was in so much shock at first that the severity of losing our home really did not register until the moment I found myself going through a box of donated items looking for a pair of shoes that would fit,” the resident said.

Luther added that every cent raised by the Clydesdale Store this year will go directly into the hands of families who lost all in Waveland.

In opening remarks, supervisor Eddie Dixon welcomed visitors.

“A hearty, hearty welcome,” he said. “Thank you for coming out for this act of kindness. Remember, this could have been Marshall County. I believe it is a blessing to give rather than to receive.”

Organizer Ronnie Luther echoed Dixon’s remarks.

“These people (on the coast) are living in tents,” he said. “We are happy to make a difference in these people’s lives which have been disrupted.”

Donations to the Clydesdale Store are accepted year around. A donation can be mailed to Clydesdale Christmas Store in care of Brenda Luther, 843 Peyton Road, Holly Springs, MS 38635.

Special thanks go to supporters of the Harvest Festival, some of which include Kevin Thomas and the Thomas Singers for setting up the stage and inviting musical guests; No Borders Animal Rescue; Marshall County Humane Society; Holly Springs Vo-Tech; Peach Pie handcrafted gifts; Premier Jewelry; Mary Loves to Sew; Honey’s Soap Shack; Smokey Hollow Porkers; Herb’s Funnel Cakes; Fitch Farms and Galena Plantation; Mouk’s Family Wellness Clinic of Chiropractic; Federated Club; What’s Poppin’: Annette Jones Crafts; New View Creations; GGS Enterprise Poetry and Folk Art; Holly Springs Lions Club providing free eye exams; Marshall County Museum; and all providers of musicians and vocalists.

Five dogs and three cats were adopted to new families by No Borders Animal Rescue. Two dogs were adopted out to new families by the Marshall County Humane Society.

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