DOBSON —While Saturday’s steady drizzle cut the anticipated crowd at the first annual Dobson Farmer’s Festival, organizers say the event was a success.
And they say the festival is just the beginning of their efforts to support local agriculture.
“The rain has certainly put a damper on the festival, but sometimes you get lucky with the weather and sometimes you don’t,” said Town Manager Josh Smith as he manned a booth selling t-shirts and drinks.
Smith was pragmatic about the unwelcome rain.
“We’ve had good luck for a past few festivals, but this just wasn’t to be,” he said. “We’re very encouraged that people are still coming out and supporting our vendors and local farmers, and we’re grateful that the farmers braved the weather to be here,” he said.
Smith said the festival, while he wants to make it an annual event, is just the tip of the iceberg.
“What we ultimately want to do is transition into a regular seasonal farmer’s market in Dobson that will allow area producers to have one more venue to market their goods,” he said.”This is a chance to start building relationships with the farmers.”
And what goods there were at the festival.
Vendors hawking everything from custom-made knives and sheaths to vegetables to locally-produced meats and soaps lined Atkins Street during the festivals.
Which is just what organizer Rachel Pace had in mind.
“We were hoping that the selection would be different than that at other festivals in the area,” she said prior to the event, noting that vendors were limited to those producing hand-made crafts and goods. “We want this to be a homemade and home-grown event featuring what Dobson and Surry County does best — farming.”
Which is just what Jake and Chad Hooker of Triple H Farms in Mount Airy wanted to hear.
“We support any event that supports local agriculture,” Jake Hooker said. “Anything that does that is a plus for the area in our book.”
“We live local agriculture,” his brother chimed in.
But some came to the event to try their hand at what Pace says should be a hugely-successful future tradition — the Dobson Farmer’s Festival Cornhole Tournament, which featured a $250 Sheetz gift card for the winning two-person team.
It was enough to bring in at least one two-person team from out of town.
“My husband and her son came to be in the tournament,” said Deborah Larrimore of Yadkinville, who was sitting with Booneville’s Brandy Talley. “But the food is really good, too.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.