LAUREL HILL – Early morning rain over Scotland County failed to dampen the spirits of Laurel Fest goers or the event itself, according to organizer Billy Norris.
Norris said few vendors and one entertainment act backed out for the second day of the event, but on the whole the festival was a success.
“We went on as scheduled and everything was great,” Norris said. “We had a really great turnout considering people thought it was going to rain.”
The number of visitors picked up as the day progressed, and Norris estimates that crowds numbered in the thousands.
Local Elvis impersonator George Hudson performed covers of the King’s hits and selections from other recording artists until noon.
After a short delay, the Triple Toe Cloggers from Karen Gibson School of Dance delighted the crowd with an energetic performance.
Nashville recording artist Barry Brown took the stage a 3 p.m.
“The Barry Brown band came on and lit up the stage; he did an awesome job,” Norris said.
Fans of wrestling got a chance to see an exhibition match from the Old School Wrestling Alliance is a full-sized regulation ring.
The 35 vendors who set up on Saturday offered everything from collard sandwiches, burgers and barbecue to wreaths, Christmas ornaments, bird houses and other handmade crafts.
Brave visitors who do not suffer herpetophobia – a fear of reptiles − could curl up with a Boa Constrictor or a leopard gecko and learn about habitats and varieties of reptiles at the Big Smiley’s Reptiles booth.
The health department was on hand to give out prizes to little ones and advice on health matters.
Participants from kids to adults were given a chance to answer a public health related question and spin a wheel for a prize. Winners got to choose between a beach ball, tumbler, drawstring bag or Frisbee.
“We just try to get out information on public health does from clinical services to environmental health,” said Kathie Cox, public health educator. “We would ask them age appropriate questions like name a disease that can be prevented by immunizations or name a yellow vegetable.”
The Health Department’s booth had more 200 visitors by day’s end with the line stretching across the aisle to other vendors at one point, according to Cox.
Norris was pleased with the turnout and the work of the vendors and performers.
“It was a lot of work, but it was worth it to see the kid’s faces and see everybody having a good time,” Norris said.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169