Next Saturday’s Farm Fest kicks off with a tractor parade on Friday night. Mayberry Farm Fest and tractor parade celebrate agriculture in Surry County with a mix of agriculture demonstrations, farm equipment displays, music, vendors and more.
Friday’s tractor parade launches the event at 6 p.m. in downtown Mount Airy. The tractor parade is immediately followed by a kid’s ride-on parade.
The 6 p.m. tractor parade will feature more than 30 tractors, and numbers could reach higher than 50, according to Gail Hiatt, member of the Downtown Business Association.
Grand marshals for the parade are Russell Hiatt of Floyd’s Barber Shop and Alma Venable of Mayberry Motor Inn. Venable was the first person to portray Aunt Bea during Mayberry Days.
The kid’s parade after the adult parade is free for any children to participate. All children must be accompanied by at least one adult to walk beside of the child for the parade. Hiatt said children may choose to ride toy tractors, electric cars, bicycles, tricycles, and more. The children’s parade will start around Oak Street and stop prior to the stoplight at the end of Main Street, then will return to the starting point.
This year, Hiatt said they have changed the location for the tractors to unload. Signs will be posted directing parade participants to the right location, which is in a parking lot on Franklin Street, in the old Spencer’s lot.
Hiatt said the parade is a “great kick-off for Farm Fest and the farmers love it.”
Farm Fest begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and wraps up at 6 p.m. with a tractor award ceremony and raffle giveaway.
Agriculture demonstrations will take place throughout the day, including pony rides, livestock and educational displays. Some of the planned demonstrations include a blacksmith, a quilting group demonstrating quilt-making, and yarn spinning. The Surry County Beekeepers also will have a display.
Farm Fest also will feature multiple arts and crafts vendors.
A vendor will sell plants and JEEM Farms will be on hand selling their greenhouse-grown tomatoes.
Food will be available for purchase from multiple vendors, including Amish baked goods and homemade ice cream from the hit and miss engine ice cream maker. Additional food vendors include blueberry smoothies made with fresh blueberries from a local farm, kettle corn, ground steak sandwiches, tenderloin sandwiches, shaved ice, banana pudding, barbecue, funnel cakes, corn on the cob, hot dogs, pinto beans and cornbread, lemonade, orangeade, and more.
Old-time music and clogging will be featured and raffle tickets will be sold for the giveaway of a small tractor and trailer.
The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will open a new luthier exhibit featuring several local and regional instrument makers. Admission to the museum will be free for the day.
Traditional music will continue at 7:30 p.m. with Travis Frye and Blue Mountain and The Round Peak Ramblers at the Historic Earle Theatre for the monthly Voice of the Blue Ridge Concert.
Farm Fest’s gold sponsor is Dodge Chrysler Jeep Patterson. Other sponsors include Mount Airy Saw and Mower, Southern States, Mt. Airy Equipment, Dan Valley Tractor and Eagle Carports.