One of the most popular aspects of the Autumn Leaves Festival is the wide assortment of foods available all along Main Street.
The demand was well evident on Saturday by the lines formed in front of vendors selling such typical goodies as candy apples, cotton candy, french fries, funnel cakes and blooming onions, as well as more unusual items.
This is the first year that the company Crabcake Sandwiches attended the festival.
Vic Miller, operator, explained that the company is based in Pennsylvania and experienced “very successful” sales on both Friday and Saturday.
Miller said that the company attends between 300 and 400 festivals throughout the course of a year and operates up and down the East Coast, from New England to Georgia.
Lines were perhaps most prevalent at the Sandy Level Community Council booth, which offered collard green sandwiches.
Walter Norman, the man behind the collard greens, said that he’s been selling his sandwiches at the festival since 1992.
Before becoming a staple here, Norman worked as a chef at a motel/restaurant for 28 years and as a chef at the Mount Airy Elks Lodge for 24 years.
Norman explained that he was originally approached by several people and asked if he was interested in having a booth at the festival. When he said yes, their next question was what type of unique food he wanted to offer, which prompted his decision.
Norman currently buys the greens that he uses to make his sandwiches from Mike Jones Produce.
The sandwiches are made out of collard greens, cornbread, and fatback pork meat.
When asked what his thoughts are about the extended lines for his booth, Norman said that he tries not to think about all of the customers and the pressure that comes with the success of his product.
“The only time I see the line is when I’m closing on Sunday,” Norman said.
Norman cooks all of the ingredients in a facility that sits to the side of Robby’s and typically stops cooking around 3 p.m. on Sundays of the festival.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.