elkintribune.com

Dobson sets farmer’s festival

Keith Strange Civitas Media

September 4, 2013

DOBSON — The town of Dobson is doing away with its fall festival, held for the past few years in October.


Instead, the town is hoping to support local agriculture by holding its inaugural Dobson Farmer’s Festival.


This year’s event is set for Sept. 21 from 2 to 8 p.m. in the square in downtown Dobson, said organizer Rachel Pace.


Pace said the impetus for the event is simply to call attention to and support local farmers.


“We’re getting local growers from the farmers markets in the county to come out to the event,” she said. “And this year, in addition to the regular festival activities, we’re hoping to have more than 20 U.S.D.A.-approved farmers on hand selling everything from meats to produce and vegetables to things like homemade soaps.”


In addition, there will be organic growers on hand and locally-produced flowers and herbs.


Pace said that instead of the same-old mass-produced items, organizers will limit craft vendors to those producing hand-made crafts.


“We’re hoping that the selection will be different than that at other festivals in the area,” she said. “We want this first Farmer’s Festival to be a homemade and home-grown event featuring what Dobson and Surry County does best — farming. We really wanted to incorporate that into the festival.”


With that in mind, events for this year’s festival include a pedal tractor pull, with classes for all ages.


“We’re also going to host what we hope will be a hugely-successful cornhole tournament,” she said. For the tournament, organizers are limiting the event to 20 two-person teams, with a $250 Sheetz gift card for the winner.


“But we will be offering prizes through fifth place,” Pace said.


Like other festivals in the area, music will be plentiful throughout the event, with Beyond the Blue, The Graybyrds and Curley Maple scheduled to perform so far.


And as always, there will be plenty to eat.


“We’re going to have locally-made barbecue, chicken, of course hamburgers and hot dogs, and Carmine’s pizza,” Pace said. Festival favorites like funnel cakes and cotton candy also will be available.


For the kids, there will be plenty to do as well.


“We will have inflatables, the favorite barrel train ride and other activities throughout the day,” she said. Children’s passes for the entire event are $5.


Pace said organizers thought long and hard about the event.


“The chamber of commerce previously did the fall festival in October, but have asked us to take the event over this year,” she said. “We thought that in order to make it continue to grow we had to find a theme to make it stand out.


“We really want to support our local farmers and really hope this will encourage and inspire a weekly farmers market here in Dobson in the future.”


Anyone with antique farm equipment or vintage cars who wants to put them on display are welcome, Pace added.


Anyone wanting to participate or display equipment can call Pace at 356-8962.


Reach Keith Strange at kstrange@civitasmedia.com or 719-1929.