Downtown Walnut Cove is being readied for SpringFest, its newest signature festival. Having its origins in the town’s 125th anniversary celebration in May 2014, the event has now blossomed into an annual tradition, sponsored by the Walnut Cove Small Town Main Street Committee and the Town of Walnut Cove. Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on Sat., May 21, and will end at 2 p.m.
Main Street, from the downtown stoplight at Third St. to Sixth St. (beside the fire department), will be closed from about 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., although most businesses in that section will still be open for foot traffic. Other vendors will be set up along the street, selling a variety of wares, such as food, crafts, jewelry, antiques, soaps and much more.
An information table, which will have a map with all vendor and attraction locations, will be situated in front of Alley’s Vintage Shoppe between Fourth and Fifth Streets. At the Main St. gateway to Fowler Park, visitors can catch the Duke Energy Express, a small train that will take them all around town and drop them off at particular places of interest. The train is also sponsored by Edward Jones Financial Services.
The Stan Bobbitt Band will be playing throughout the day on a stage near the Third St. stoplight. During their breaks from 11-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-1 p.m., local teens Maya Burgess and Sandy Uselton will be playing and singing. A limited number of tables and chairs will be set up there for those who want to rest and enjoy the music or eat. More music and dancing will be going on periodically under the picnic shelter at Fowler Park.
Across the street from the main stage, a teen games area will be located in the old Shamburg used car lot. Local students from the Stokes Early College High School will be hosting drink pong, corn hole and other outdoor games.
For younger children, a games area will be set up in and around Fowler Park. Some of the scheduled games include a beanbag toss into a walnut tree cutout, walnut in a spoon race and “Pick Up a Lucky Duck” from a washtub. Prizes will be awarded, sponsored by Times of Refreshing Ministries at The Well. A large slide with a medieval castle theme, sponsored by Busted Knuckle motorcycle shop, will be set up to accommodate children of all ages.
Also in Fowler Park will be exhibits and booths to interest the general public. London Elementary School teacher, Eric Marshall, will be on hand with his fifth-grade Civil War re-enactors. A Living History exhibit goes along with that, as do nearby blacksmithing and walnut-cracking demonstration areas. In front of the old DeHart dentistry building, a woodworking exhibit will be set up.
A new SpringFest element this year is the “Walnut Ridge Walkabout,” a scavenger hunt of sorts in which participants gather specified information from local businesses. The winner will be randomly chosen at 2 p.m. from a pool of all the correctly-completed forms; the prize is a $100 prepaid VISA card. Forms can be picked up and returned at the Walnut Ridge Assisted Living booth, located a couple of tents down from the main stage at the stoplight. Walnut Ridge is sponsoring this exciting new event.
Back by popular demand at the corner of Third and Main is Jackie White’s cruise-in with oldies music as the backdrop and vintage vehicles of many makes and models for visitors to enjoy. In the Walnut Cove Library’s main conference room at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., visitors can rest and watch the 1940’s movie about Walnut Cove and surrounding areas. For convenience, port-a-johns will be spaced at intervals along Main St.
For more information, check out the Walnut Cove Springfest Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mainstreetwalnutcove, contact Kim Ferrell at (336) 416-0671 or the Walnut Cove Town Hall at (336) 591-4809, or visit www.mainstreetwalnutcove.com. There is no rain date for SpringFest.