The Fieldale Heritage Festival attracted large crowds all day Saturday, and those who attended said they enjoyed the event for different reasons.
Lucy Perdue, who lives in the Horsepasture area, said she enjoyed touring the Virginia Home Inn and learning about its heritage.
“The pancakes were really good,” said Marie Tate of Eden, N.C.
Sandra Woodward of Ridgeway enjoyed listening to men who were singing on a stage on the front lawn of the Fieldale Community Center.
“The men have beautiful voices,” Woodward said.
Deborah Watkins of Bassett simply enjoyed watching the people.
“A big variety of people” attended the festival, Watkins said, adding that everyone — including other vendors — was friendly.
She and Woodward, with whom she was selling homemade crafts, credited festival co-organizer Bea Bullard for the friendly atmosphere. They said Bullard made an effort to speak to all of the vendors and it was appreciated.
Bullard organized this year’s festival with Alice Gwynn.
At least several thousand people attended, said Doug Stegall, who started the festival in 2006. He said it always is hard to determine crowd estimates because people come and go all day.
However, he said it seemed that every time some festival-goers left on Saturday, others would come in, he said.
Stegall said the seventh annual festival lured “one of the better crowds” he has seen. He thought that was due to the sunny, warm weather.
“It’s such good weather,” said Virginia King of Martinsville, who was helping coordinate shuttles between parking areas and the festival.
Inside the community center’s gym were tables full of memorabilia, including photos of local people and attractions from the past.
“You see so many friends” at the festival each year, Stegall said. Seeing them, and photos of other friends and acquaintances, seems “like a class reunion.”
Railroad and business memorabilia also were on display. The latter included
promotional items, such as thermometers, which the businesses gave away years ago and which carried their names or logos.
Vendors sold many types of prepared foods and arts and crafts. Some of the crafters demonstrated their talents, including basket weaving and yarn spinning.
Making her first visit to the festival, Tate was selling cemetery flowers and homemade foods. She sells her items at an Eden flea market. Someone told her about Fieldale’s festival, and she came to make new customers.
She stayed so busy, she said, that by mid-afternoon, she had not been able to visit other vendors or go in the community center to see the memorabilia. Yet she was pleased with her sales, she indicated.
A horse-drawn carriage transported people around the festival grounds. Children were able to ride miniature horses.
A petting zoo attracted both the young and young-at-heart. It featured alpacas, chickens, ducks, small goats, a large turtle and a large white dog which laid still while children constantly rubbed it.
Other activities included a car show and re-enactments of historical events by the 2nd North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Line.
Perdue said the festival was wonderful and she hopes it is held every year.
“It’s nice for the community to get together” and enjoy an event, she said.