Weekend highlighted community

Published 9:38 pm Friday, May 6, 2011

For Troy City Councilman Jason Reeves, TroyFest is a highlight of the year.

Held the last weekend in April, TroyFest brings so many people to town and back home, Reeves said.

“A lot of people set TroyFest weekend aside to come back home and visit family and friends,” he said. “A lot of the participating artists have Troy ties so it’s a homecoming of sorts for them, too. I think that the 2011 TroyFest was the best so far. And, I want to thank the volunteers and the city employees and everybody who worked so hard to make TroyFest special again this year.

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With TroyFest and a two-day baseball tournament in town, every hotel room in Troy was booked last weekend.

“Events like these provide a place for artists to showcase their talents and they have a great economic impact and also positively impact the quality of life in our community,” Reeves said. “But nothing means more than the sense of community that you get when people work together to make something very special. TroyFest is very special.”

Stephanie Baker, arts/crafts chair, agreed that TroyFest was better and, perhaps, more special this year than in years past.

“Attendance on Saturday was very good all day long,” she said. “Some of the artists sold out and others came very close. On Sunday, the crowd was not as large but it was a good day for the artists. People were buying.”

From the perspective of the organizers of the 2011 TroyFest, Baker said the quality of the show was the best ever.

“The diversity and quality of the artwork was outstanding,” Baker said. “We were extremely pleased with the show from the standpoint of the participating artists and those who attended.”

Baker said many of the artists told the organizers that TroyFest is their favorite show. “We may not be the largest but we are the friendliest,” Baker said.

“Hospitality is important to us. We tell the artists that there are things that we can’t control such as the weather and whether or not people spend their money. But the hospitality is certainly something that we can control.”

Bonnie Heinecke, metal artist, travels from Missouri every year to participate in TroyFest. “These are the nicest people in the world to work with,” Heinecke said.

“They do everything in the world to accommodate us. This is a great show. If it weren’t I wouldn’t drive 12 hours to get here.”

Dennis Heckler, impressionist painter from Yazoo City, Miss., participated in TroyFest for the first time in 2010.

“This year couldn’t come fast enough,” Heckler said. “The atmosphere in this college town is inspiring and the show is well run.”

Seventy-five artists and craftsmen participated in the show and every booth was filled.

Add to that, outstanding entertainment at two venues, a kid’s corner, a film festival, art exhibits and food booths for every possible taste and that was TroyFest 2011.

“It was special in every way,” Baker said.