Todd New River Festival enters 20th year providing scholarships

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 30, 2013

The Todd Ruritan Club is hosting its annual Todd New River Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12 in the park at the town’s center.

“The festival is a benefit for the Todd Community,” said Barry Stephens, an organizer for the event. “We take the proceeds and give scholarships to the local kids.”

Stephens said the festival, entering its 20th year, is able to provide scholarships for two or three students in the community preparing for college.

“The festival is for a good cause and it is a good time for the family,” he said.

Todd New River Festival has approximately 30 vendors signed up from Ashe County and the surrounding areas. They will be selling many things ranging from handmade toys and blankets to stained glass artwork and fruits.

“There will be a big variety of things on sale for people wanting to do Christmas shopping,” Stephens said.

Another important part of the festival is the presentation of the town’s key to a local resident. The Ruritan Club selects one person who has spent most of his or her life in the community and presents the key and a plaque.

“We select an elderly person that has lived in Todd for most of their lives and we honor them,” Stephens said. “We honor and appreciate them for being a faithful person in the community.

Music is will also take place during the event, featuring artists of bluegrass, gospel, blues and country.

Admission into the event is free, but parking costs $5. The cost will also cover the shuttle taking festival goers from the fire department into the festival grounds.

Stephens said the future of the New River festival depends entirely on the volunteer effort. Volunteers help the Todd Ruritan Club by serving food, selling t-shirts and helping people park at the volunteer fire department.

“We always need to have volunteers,” he said. “Todd Ruritan is a nonprofit and all of the money we raise here goes to help with scholarships for the kids.”

Those who want to sell their crafts still have time to sign up. The applications are due by Oct. 7 and any questions can be directed to Stephens by calling (828) 964-1362.