The cool weather Saturday was perfect for eating doughnuts, ones, or so it seemed from the long line stretching down the north end of Main Street waiting for the hot, made-from scratch items from The Amish Baking Co.
“The weather wasn’t the best but the crowd was good,” said the booth’s proprietor, Nate Peachey.
Formerly from Yadkinville, Peachey said the Autumn Leaves Festival is the biggest event in the southeast the Florida-based business attends annually, and he said this year was no disappointment.
The good business isn’t the only reason the vendor has attended for five years in a row.
“We just like the culture of Mount Airy, Mayberry, all that stuff,” Peachey said, which makes sense for a guy running a family business.
“My grandma made a similar doughnut and my mom is a baker,” he said. “Ours are pretty much the same doughnut my grandma made,” all made from scratch, from dough to icing.
The festival director, Yvonne Nichols, was pleased with this year’s turnout.
“In spite of the cold I think we’ve done well,” she said. “People are out, eating lots of food, and vendors are happy.”
Nichols said the recent stretches of rainy weather causing the cancellation of many recent festivals and outdoor events may have encouraged folks to brave the colder air.
“They’ve just been stuck in the house too long,” she said.
The festival offered several new attractions to draw people out, such as a small train for children departing from a “depot” on City Hall Street near the inflatables.
Nichols said, “We’re calling it the ‘Autumn Leaves Festival Train.’”
Also new was the “gravity ball” on Independence Avenue. Another attraction is the Coco Bongo food truck, which was lit with party lights, pumping music and serving smoothies to the festival goers.
Plenty of regulars were making the most out of the festival as well.
A jam under the tent hosted by the Possum Holler Old Time String Band was bursting over with musicians trying to keep under cover but letting the music flow.
The wide variety of instruments included Michael Fox’s “dulcijo,” a dulcimer and banjo hybrid, and the percussive “limberjack,” a wooden doll made to flatfoot on a wooden panel.
“We just want everyone to have a good time,” Nichols said.
As Paula Driver of Yadkinville said, “We’re loving it.”
Terri Flagg can be reached at 336-415-4734.