Being Bruce -: Waterford Fall Festival a Great Success

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Waterford Fall Festival a Great Success

I had a blast today at the Waterford Fall Festival. Located in the parking lot of the shoppes of Waterford, approximately 60 artists, craftspersons, organizations, and companies set up tents and booths. The morning started off bbbbrrrrrrr chilly (my car said it was 36 degrees outside at 8:15AM), but by mid day the temperature was, as predicted, in the mid 70s. The event was held to benefit Manna Ministries of Leland and the Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

We set up our Coldwell Banker blue tent with a settee and a couple of rocking chairs. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty agents from various offices had scheduled five open houses in nearby Waterford of the Carolinas so we had a combination flyer for them. Our purpose for the day was to be low key and to talk to people, a community bonding effort, which we truly enjoy. The very first person who came to our booth was Edna Stacey, who with her husband Irwin lives in Mount Pleasant, SC. It turns out that their two daughters work for (different) Coldwell Banker companies - one in South Carolina and the other in the Wilmington office of Sea Coast Realty. So meeting Edna was a nice start to the day.

The attendee numbers were steady most of the day. When you consider it was a beautiful early Fall day, it was the first year of this festival, and that the Beach 2 Battleship Ironman competition was going on all day in Wilmington and tieing up both lower bridges from Wilmington over the Cape Fear River, not to mention it was the last day of early voting for the Presidential election, the turnout was just fine. From 2 till about 3PM attendance fell off noticeably (that was also the hottest part of the day and we were on tarmac), but for the last hour (3-4PM) there were a good number of folks present.

And . . . some of the folks present had more than two legs. For example, Bentley Willis, a spaniel who rules Naomi and Ophard Willis' home came to the festival for a couple hours in the morning. Naomi makes and sells watches with nifty jeweled watch bands and Ophard is Broker with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. When it got warmer Bentley went home to meditate. As you can see below, Bentley is an extremely self-possessed dog who makes his presence known.

Music was a big part of the day, which is only fitting since George Murray of Murray Art & Frame was one of the organizers of the event and George is well connected with the music community - for that matter George is pretty much down with musicians around the country, some of whom will fly him across country to do portraits. The first band, and I apologize for not having a better close up (they're in the back center of the photo below), was Three Pieces for a Dollar Blue Grass Band. They did a fine job and had many feet tapping.

One of the coolest booths (IMHO) was Justine Ferreri's, whose whimsical clay sculpted pieces are also sold at her store in Chandler's Wharf on South Water Street in Wilmington. Marge was also thoroughly enamored by Justine's work which led to an immediate purchase.

Pretty much out of the blue a bagpiper showed up piping. You forget how loud bagpipes are but it comes back quickly. It's easy to recall they were used to lead fighting men to battle.

The second band to play was Like Flint Band, a local cover band. If you're not from the Wilmington area you might not realize how good our music is, but these guys made it very clear. They were good and playing from a balcony was pretty cool, too. I caught several folks dancing in place including Linda Rhodes, local attorney Randy Rhodes' wife. Randy is running for County Commissioner in Tuesday's election (Go Randy!) and Linda was sitting in his booth when I caught her singing with the band -which I noticed because I was singing along, too, or at least lip-synching.

One booth that was different was Betty Weihs' Electric Scooter display. She had a snazzy yellow model that actually belongs to one of her customers that looked all the world like a full-sized Vespa. Electric scooters are turning up more regularity in communities with private roads and Betty's booth attracted a lot of attention.

A local author was on hand as well. Dr. Frank Malinoski had a booth for his book Crescent Veil, which he wrote with Judith Sanders. The book is based on the premise of actually discovering weapons of mass destruction in post-Saddam Irag.

So the day wore on and we were all having a fine time, but the true highlight was a scheduled but iffy appearance by none other than Ava Grace Williams, Kristy and Justin Williams' brand new daughter. Ava came with Kristy to check out the Festival and was pretty spunky for a two week old. If you think Bentley the dog attracted attention, you shoulda seen the folks swarming around Ava. Tammy Flynn, who is Kristy's mom and Ava's grandmother, was there, too, and Tammy enjoyed the music and the Festival but was mostly focused on little Miss Ava.

All in all, it was a successful, fun time. I'm glad we were part of it and look forward to next year.