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Small-town festival draws a big crowd

October 21, 2012 12:10 am

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Vendor David Swink found success selling so-called Redneck Wine Glasses, Mason jars glued atop candlestick holders. lo1021harvest1.jpg

Khloe Swisher, 2, rides a pony at the 23rd annual Bowling Green Harvest Festival Saturday. Organizers estimate the event drew more than 12,000 visitors to the Caroline County town. lo1021harvest4.jpg

After children painted pumpkins at the festival, the gourd-like squashes were displayed for all to see. lo1021harvest3.jpg

John Vergeres (left) and Jim Still sit by Vergeres' Ford at the 23rd annual Bowling Green Harvest Festival on Saturday. Vintage automobiles are a festival staple.

BY SCOTT SHENK
BY SCOTT SHENK

Crowds filled downtown Bowling Green for the 23rd annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, a perfect autumn day where the attendees enjoyed everything from live music to fried Oreos and a local brand of specialty wineglasses.

Festival organizers expected more than 12,000 to show.

By mid-afternoon, it looked like crowds were better than expected, said Kathy Beard, Caroline County's tourism manager and the festival's coordinator.

All around the small town, cars filled parking lots and lined State Route 2 for about a half-mile heading into the Caroline County seat.

Caroline resident Ivy MacCurtin brought her three young children to the festival for the first time.

MacCurtin, who recently moved to the county from Stafford with her husband and kids, said the festival is Bowling Green through and through.

"We've been so amazed with the small-town feel around here. It feels genuine," she said as they waited in line for the Fredericksburg Trolley, which shuttled people to Main Street.

Along the north end of Main Street, visitors found collector cars of various vintages, from crank-up Fords to low-rider pickups.

Further along, local nonprofits and political campaigns had booths, and vendors sold all kinds of wares and food. The local farmers market set up booths, as well.

Those booths surrounded the stage where bands played everything from bluegrass to Motown.

Early in the afternoon Milford banjo player Robby Caruthers led a quintet that pealed out bluegrass tunes.

Not far from the stage, David Swink was manning a booth for his wife, Anna, who owns Snip & Trim Hair Studio. She was offering trims in a barber chair and he was selling Redneck Wine Glasses--Mason jars affixed to candlestick holders by epoxy.

He said it was a good crowd and the glasses were selling well.

"They're on sale," he told one couple. "One for $8 or two for $12."

They bought a pair.

Festival organizer Beard said the crowds turned out because of the variety and quality of vendors and entertainment.

They had expected upwards of 12,000 visitors.

"We think we exceeded that," she said. "We think this is one of our stronger crowds."

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com





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