MEADOWS OF DAN — This community’s annual folk celebration will have something bright and shiny this year.
For the first time in its now 15 years, the Meadows of Dan Folk Fair will have a Young Entrepreneur Section, in which students from across Patrick County will set up business models for public inspection.
“We have so many young, smart kids in our county that do little things, like make homemade dog treats and things like that,” Trinity Goad, president of the sponsoring Meadows of Dan Community Association, said. “It’s a way for them to learn how a business works. It’s a way to get their name out there and see what it’s like to run their own business.”
Otherwise this annual festival, which figures to draw between 500 and 1,000 people on Saturday, will be business as usual.
A performance by the Hylton family will start the festivities at 11 a.m. at the Meadows of Dan Community Center. Known for their gospel singing, the group first started pleasing crowds in Floyd several decades ago. Like many of the performers, there is a story behind this one.
“They are perfect for this event, because the Folk Fair is about going back to your roots,” Goad said.
“They just seemed perfect. We’ve never had them because their schedule’s always been so tight. It worked out this year where we could get them, so we booked them and they’re going to be our opening event. We’re super excited about it.”
At noon, the music continues on the Poor Farmer’s Stage at the Poor Farmer’s Market with the Lower Dam Band.
“They are a local band that got formed in Meadows of Dan from just some guy that moved there, and he played some instruments, and he told a friend and he played an instrument, and then he had a friend. So they just became this band,” Goad said. “They do a little bit of everything. At the Folk Fair, they plan to do some gospel, country and rock and roll. They do it all.”
The fair also will feature the Blue Ridge Story Space at 12:30-2. This group from Floyd meets monthly to tell and hear stories from members and guests alike. There will be an open-mic format in which anyone interested in telling a story may put his or her name in a hat, and when a name is drawn, that person will have 5 to 7 minutes to tell that story from the theme of “The Memories up Here.”
Later author Sandra Warren will take the stage at 2:30 for a presentation about her book, “We Bought a WWII Bomber.” The book is based on a true story about a bomber plane that went down near Mabry Mill.
“It’s just fitting that we have a book about the World War II bomber,” Goad said. “It’s a true story and it’s right up in our neck of the woods, so that’s why we asked her to come.”
Vendors also will line the fields at the festival, selling everything from handmade crafts to delicious treats.
“We’re going to have several woodworking people there doing custom woodworking. We’ll have some locally handcrafted jewelry. We’ll have some local homemade bread. We’ll also have some hand crocheted items. A lot of it’s local crafters who make a wide variety of things — they cover every season, summer, winter, fall, spring. They cover stuff like Christmas and Halloween. We will also have local honey from a man here in Meadows of Dan. We’ll have some stained glass people there too,” Goad said. “We’ll have so many more, but that’s just a brief overview.”
The Meadows of Dan Schools also will present their annual fish fry fundraiser.
“They take that money, and they put that money toward field trips for children whose parents may not have the money to pay for them to go on a field trip,” Goad said. “That way, every child gets to go on a school field trip with their class.”
“The first time that we did it [staged the festival], we just did it to raise money for some signs on [Highway] 58 from the bypass, so people would know we were still there. After we did that, we had so much fun when we did Folk Fair one, we said let’s do it again and see where it goes. We did it again and again and again,” Goad said. “People just keep coming. We get a lot of the same people visiting us and a lot of new people who come. As long as people want to come and enjoy themselves and spend the day with us in Meadows of Dan, we’re going to keep doing it.”