TROYFEST SUCCESS: All are pleased with weekend arts festival

Published 8:40 pm Monday, April 28, 2014

Cindy Bender of Highland Home, Ala. takes a closer look at a vintage wind chime made by Linda Daulton Holt Saturday at TroyFest. MESSENGER PHOTO | MONA MOORE

Cindy Bender of Highland Home, Ala. takes a closer look at a vintage wind chime made by Linda Daulton Holt Saturday at TroyFest.

Thousands flocked to downtown Troy Saturday for the first day of TroyFest. They were met with sunny skies, original art, handmade crafts, local talent and fried Oreos.
“The crowds were really strong, especially on Saturday,” said Morgan Drinkard, chair of publicity for TroyFest.
Vendors reported selling to people from Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and all over the state.
Drinkard heard a lot of feedback working at the TroyFest information booth. She said those who attended were most impressed with new artists and changes at the Kids Corner.
“studio 116 really worked with the kids to make sure the activities were meaningful,” she said.
The Brundidge group taught children how to marble paper and tie-dye shirts and build birdhouses.
Tanya Leininger spent a portion of the day in the Kids Corner, watching grandkids Chloe and Cole Jordan try out every color of chalk available for their sidewalk masterpieces.
“I’ve enjoyed the breeze and the music and the free arts and crafts,” Leininger said. “It’s great seeing them just enjoying being a kid.”
Bernice Cole smiled as she watched her great-granddaughter, Abby Nobles, drawing on the sidewalk.
“See, it doesn’t take video games to keep your kids entertained,” she said.
The Troy natives never miss a TroyFest. Cole recalled bringing her grandchildren to past festivals and was glad to continue the tradition with another generation.
“We’re up here making memories,” she said.
Barbara Ward started with 200 plants to sell at the farmer’s market. By 2 p.m., she was down to about 20.
“I wish I had another 200 for tomorrow, but it is slim pickings,” she said.
Ward had a prime spot next to Byrd’s Drug Store. Just down the street were food vendors offering everything from brisket to pitas. Ward listened to Pike County High School’s Jazz Ensemble, Troy University’s jazz bands and a sneak peek of Charles Henderson High School’s production of “Grease.” All made appearances on the entertainment stage a few feet in front of her.
She was as impressed by festival volunteers as she was the entertainment.
“This is one of the best shows we’ve been to and you will not find a better group of organizers,” Ward said. “Workers will do anything for you. I just can’t say enough about them.”
Drinkard said vendors were also pleased with the city’s hospitality.
“They kind of kiddingly called us the friendliest festival in the South,” she said.
Volunteers stopped by booths throughout the day, asking vendors if they needed anything and offering cold bottles of water to them and cleaning crews kept the streets free of debris throughout the day.
For next year’s TroyFest, Drinkard wouldn’t change a thing. “We just want to continue to get great new artists,” she said

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