LAUREL HILL — Despite cancellation of this year’s Laurel Hill Hobo Festival, residents came together on Saturday to keep an area tradition going. “A Day in the Country Life” Fall Festival, sponsored by Safe Haven Horse Rescue Center and the city's volunteer fire department, provided the same atmosphere as the Hobo Festival, along with some familiar faces.
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The Hobo festival has occurred on the second Saturday in October at Gene Clary Park, offering numerous vendors, live music, food and free children’s entertainment for the past 20 years. The Hobo festival committee didn’t file necessary paperwork in time for this year's event, which led to its cancellation, but committee officials said the Hobo festival will return next year.
Patti Thornhill and John Stillwell, both from Crestview, came to sightsee. "It’s good weather for it and it gives us something to do," Thornhill said. "Plus, I wanted to see the horses."
Laurel Hill School students raised funds for the school's Multi-culture Club and the junior and senior proms. Some students sold cups of iced tea; others took pies in the face from attendees. Neisha Williams, a class sponsor, said the fundraiser netted around $80.
The Rev. Mike McVay, First Baptist Church of Laurel Hill pastor and a volunteer fire department member, once again greeted attendees while wearing hobo attire. However, he said he thought there was a low turnout for the event."It (was) a beautiful day for it, but I think there was some confusion with the Hobo festival being canceled this year," he said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.