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Summer Festival begins to change

By Staff
Becoming more family-friendly is the goal
By MIKE VOSS
Contributing Editor
Those potheads were human, equine, porcine and canine figurines made from terra cotta pots, and they serve as garden planters.
Kight, who lives in Willow Springs, said she came up with the potheads idea 12 years ago.
The figurines come with plants in their heads, she said.
Lots of lookers stopped by Kight’s booth to gaze at the potheads. Kight engaged in playful banter with them.
Jerry Watson, who lives in Winston-Salem, brought his Jerry’s Hillbilly Deluxe Smokehouse and Grill to the Summer Festival for the first time. He’s glad smoke from the massive Evans Road fire in Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell counties was being blown elsewhere Saturday.
When he arrived Friday morning to set up for the festival, smoke from the wildfire that’s consumed 40,000 acres covered the Washington waterfront like a fog bank. He was worried that smoke would mask the smoke coming from his two cookers that burn wood. Smoke coming from his cookers serves as free advertising for the ribs and pork butts he barbecues.
With the air over Stewart Parkway free of acrid smoke from the Evans Road fire, the smoke and aroma coming from Watson’s cookers sent an unmistakable message that something good was cooking and getting smoked in those cookers.
Catherine Glover, executive director of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the festival, said she believes the chamber’s efforts to make the festival more family oriented are working. There are fewer professional vendors and more area residents, nonprofit groups, churches and other organizations selling items at the festival. Those items range from arts and crafts to food, Glover said.
The movement to make the festival more family friendly will continue, she said.
Glover said she’s pleased with attendance for this year’s festival, despite some worries the smoke from the Evans Road fire could hurt turnout by festival-goers. Friday night’s fireworks display was canceled because of concerns it could spark a fire.
Glover said this year’s festival had to do without one of its veteran vendors, Sparky’s Snow Balls. That concession is operated by Robert O’Neal, who was fighting the Evans Road fire instead of selling snow balls at the festival, she said.
Glover was not sure where O’Neal resides.
The two-day festival concluded Saturday night with a performance by the Craig Woolard Band. Woolard is a Washington native.