A new festival planned for October is promising to bring big crowds to the county and showcase a variety of regional artisans.
Southern Charm at the Farm, a day long craft festival planned for Oct. 10, is the brain child of Sharon Yarborough and Allison Dahl.
The festival will feature re-purposed, upcycled, vintage and handmade items from craftsmen from throughout the region.
“We are trying to find a really eclectic, innovative mix of vendors,” said Yarborough. “Not just your typical stuff you would see everywhere. Allison carefully curated 200 applications and was very selective in picking out over 60 vendors.”
“We have handmade soaps, jewelry, oils and perfumes,” said Dahl. “We have a lot of vintage found items that are re-purposed — everything from animal accessories to home decor to furniture. We have it all.”
Dahl said many of the vendors feature upcycled items.
“Upcycling is taking something old and giving it new life and a new purpose,”she explained. “Like taking an old piano and removing the insides and re-purposing the shell into a bar or a wall hanging.”
Yarborough said there is a growing trend of artisans upcycling older materials that would normally be discarded and, instead, giving them new life.
“We are in a society where we discard too much and is really nice when you take something and give it new life and make it useful again,” she said.
In addition to the great vendors the event will also feature live music and a variety of food trucks offering French/Crepes, BBQ, Jamaican, Americana/Wings, a handful of bakeries, and a slushy vendor.
“We wanted to bring an outdoor pop-up farm sale to Stokes County,” said Yarborough. “I have watched the trend for things like this in Tennessee and have seen some really large ones be very successful. I talked to Allison about it when I was launching my business and said why couldn’t we do this here.”
After first agreeing to the idea last spring the pair began marketing the idea on Facebook and trying to curate vendors.
“We started co-promoting it from our businesses and right now it is growing by about 100 attendees per day,” said Yarborough. Yarborough owns Wheeled Magnolia Mobile Fashion Boutique and Dahl owns Dahlias Floral Design and Vintage Decor.”If you look at the site right now it says 4,800 people have said they will be coming. Of course a lot of those are people who are just considering it and may not come, but if even a small parentage of that number comes it will be a huge event for the county.”
She said they had initially planned to have the event on her farm, but as the number of attendees increased the pair had to consider alternative locations.
“As the page continued to grow my husband started worrying about where we would put all of the people so we decided to to find a venue in the county that could better meet out parking needs,” said Yarborough. “We found Chateau Fontaine Bed and Breakfast, located at 1208 N. Main St., Walnut Cove, and they have been wonderful. They were just getting ready to really market their venue so this event will give them exposure as well. All of the pieces are just working together really nicely to help local businesses.
“We are just excited that we will be bringing more people to Stokes County and showing people everything the county has to offer,” she added. “We want the business owners in the county to know we are excited about bringing people here and hoping they will stop and explore other things in the area.”
Yarborough said they are not trying to make a profit off of the event, but noted that any money raised through vendor’s fees would be donated to the Stokes County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program to help victims escape from domestic violence situations.
Southern Charm at the Farm will be held on Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Chateau Fontaine Bed and Breakfast, located at 1208 N. Main St., Walnut Cove. Admission is free, but the organizers may charge a parking fee to encourage visitors to carpool.
For more information, including a list of vendors, vendor highlights, daily updates visit the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/401925996653322.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.