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Folk fair had something for everyone
Gurney Royall stirs a vat of peach butter at the Meadows of Dan Folk Fair on Saturday. The fair, held in association with the Virginia Peach Festival, showcases crafts produced by local vendors, while providing games and entertainment for children and adults alike. (Bulletin photos by Debbie Hall)
Homemade peach butter, crafts, food and music were on tap Saturday during the Meadows of Dan Folk Fair.
“The whole town gets involved” in helping to make the folk fair a success, “but this field is ours, and I coordinate the crafters,” said Sue Shelor, owner of Mountain Meadows Farm and Craft Market.
The folk fair, held in association with the Virginia Peach Festival, showcases crafts produced by local vendors, while providing games and entertainment for youngsters and adults alike.
Gurney Royall was among the first to set up at the fair Saturday, working to get a 50-gallon vat of peach butter simmering.
“I started about 8:30. It will be done around 3:30 or 4,” Royall said.
When the 12 bushels of peaches cook down, they will produce about 28 or 29 gallons of peach butter, Royall said.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and I’m the rookie,” Royall said, while stirring the rich-smelling butter. He said his wife, Pam Barkley Royall, and mother-in-law, Peggy Barkley, have made both apple butter and peach butter longer than he has.
“But I knew what I was getting into” when he and Barkley got married many years ago, Royall quipped.
Tom Perry, local author and historian, was among the vendors at the festival, with plans to sign books for buyers at a place that feels like home.
“Here I am right where I started,” Perry said. “The first time I ever did a book festival was is Sue Shelor’s yard,” he said, from his booth in a large field in behind Shelor’s shop.
Perry and which many vendors set up booths in the field which also held a stage and other attractions.
Perry was concerned about the possibility of rain Saturday, and noted that with as much work as residents put into the folk fair, “I’d really like to see it take off and do well for the Meadows of Dan community.”
Sheryl Rimar, of Lazy R Country Crafts in Stuart, was among local crafters, with everything from dish towels to clothes pin holders for sale in her booth.
“I’m hoping for a lot of people to come out today,” Rimar said.
But it was the animals in Susan Shea’s petting zoo that attracted many festival goers.
“That’s Maybelline, my tortoise,” Shea said.
She explained to one group of visitors that she got the tortoise as a gift from an out-of-state friend. “A man from Florida sent her to me, in the mail,” she said. When the tortoise arrived, she appeared to be wearing black lipstick, and “I named her Maybelline.”
She has had the 10-year-old tortoise for much of its life, and told a group of onlookers that Maybelline could live to the ripe old age of 100.
“She’s my legacy,” Shea said. “My kids ... will fight over Maybelline.”
“Can I touch her,” asked Avery Keith, 9, of Meadows of Dan.
“Sure, she won’t bite,” Shea assured him.
Martin Morse, 10, of the Fairystone area, spent time petting the goats, rabbits, and other animals at the petting zoo, but preferred to just look at the rooster and hens.
The Folk Fair also featured several different performers, horse drawn rides, craft demonstrations, activities for youngsters and a preview of Shelor’s corn maze that will be formally unveiled this fall.