41st annual MayFest opens Saturday
Members of the community as well as visitors to Rutherford County will have the opportunity to enjoy local foods, unique arts and crafts, live music and entertainment, and family fun outdoors in downtown Rutherfordton this weekend.
Rutherford Town Revitalization (RTR), in coordination with the Town of Rutherfordton and numerous sponsors and volunteers, will hold the 41st Annual MayFest on Main Street on Saturday from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.
“We are excited about MayFest and are planning to showcase more arts and crafts at this year’s festival,” said Cindy Adair, events coordinator of RTR. “There will be additional craftsman booths including pottery and woodworking demonstrations. We have also been in contact with different art guilds from across the state as well as South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee as a way to build up arts in our area and create more of an artist community.”
According to Adair, more than 100 vendors will be at MayFest offering festival-goers a large spectrum of comfort food, local products and community information.
“A lot of the vendors here year after year look forward to coming back, and MayFest has really helped their businesses flourish,” Adair said. “Booths run by pet services and area schools also give back to the community by providing people with information.”
Robert Martin, owner and operator of Farmers Heritage Kettle Corn out of Rutherfordton, will be one of the vendors at MayFest. He and his wife Anita have been vendors at the festival for five years now.
“MayFest was one of the very first events that we did, so it’s something special to us,” Anita Martin said. “The first year we worked the festival was so amazing to us, to see how much work everyone put into organizing the event and just how many different things are at the event.”
At their booth the Martins will be selling the original sweet and salty kettle corn that is cooked in a black kettle.
Greene’s Concessions out of Ellenboro will also be selling a variety of fare during the festival, from cheeseburgers and hotdogs to cheese nachos and chicken sandwiches.
“This is our sixth year at MayFest and it’s a great atmosphere. The people are super nice and I see a lot of our old-time customers who come back every year to eat with us,” said Audrey Greene, who helps run Greene’s Concessions. “We’re very hometown and we try to stay local — we’re one of the regular vendors at most of the festivals here and we’re excited.”
Rutherford County native Terra Fender has painted faces at MayFest for the past 11 years and will add another year under her belt at this year’s festival.
“MayFest is were I started and it was the very first place that I ever face painted, the very first place that I ever picked up a brush,” Fender said. “I really look forward to MayFest because the organizers treat the vendors well and try really hard to make sure that there’s not too much of the same thing, that we have a good variety. It’s a fun, laid-back day where I feel at home.”
Fender will be offering all kinds of face painting designs including butterflies for little girls and the ever-classic Spiderman for little boys.
People attending the festival can expect a few new attractions this year. These include pony rides and carnival rides like swings and a Ferris wheel. There will also be a dunk-the-dentist booth sponsored by Blanton, Miller, Moore & Toney, DDS.
Festival-goers will also be treated to live music by two local bands, a Johnny Cash cover band called Folsom Prison Gang and a classic rock band called Flying Saucers. Other events include demonstrations by Dancin’ Stars, IGA Gymnastics and Zumba with Lifestyles Fitness; a quilt show at the Firehouse Inn; and activities provided by Boy Scouts from across Rutherford County.
In conjunction with MayFest is the Gears & Gables cycling event benefiting Rutherford Housing Partnership as well as the inaugural Gold Rush 5K and fun run sponsored by Rutherford Women’s League.
“A lot of people come to Rutherfordton specifically for MayFest,” Adair said. “It attracts people to the area and brings the whole community out.”
“We enjoy meeting all the people and seeing them out there enjoying themselves and having fun,” Anita Martin said. “It means a lot to us when we see people that live in our county come out and support us and the event.”
BREAKOUT:Want to go?MayFest: 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.Gears & Gables: 8 a.m.Gold Rush 5K: 8:30 a.m.For a full schedule of MayFest events, visit http://www.rutherfordtown.com/.