LAUREL HILL — Laurel Hill Spring Arts and Heritage Festival organizers may have found the secret to a successful event: have a greater variety of exhibitors and performers and time it right after a record storm.
"I just wanted to get out of the house and do something fun, and a small-town festival fit the ticket," Pensacola resident Ellen Guilfoyle said. "After last week's rain it is nice to just sit in the sun and enjoy the music."
Saturday's annual festival also attracted people from Alabama, Fort Walton Beach and Niceville.
Food sales from co-sponsors Laurel Hill and Crestview Presbyterian churches raised almost $650 toward school supplies and Christmas food baskets. In addition, Crestview Boy Scout Troop 773 raised money by baking and selling Scout Cobbler, and Laurel Hill School's drink sales benefited fifth-graders' New Orleans field trip.
For Crestview resident Margot Vickery, a native Scot, some of the music brought back memories of her younger days in Edinburgh.
"Every time I hear 'Amazing Grace' played, I think I am back on the battlements," she said following Emerald Coast Pipes and Drums' performance of the traditional tune.
The music, in addition to pipes and drums, ranged from acoustic guitar and vocals to jazz and gospel.
Children delighted in carrying, petting and chasing a 2-week-old white goat named Bert from the Allie Lee Campbell farm.
The north county's farming culture was also represented by two 5-month-old Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs from Grundel Hill Top Farm in Baker.
Exhibitors, some of whom joined the roster as late as the day before the event, included community organizations, artists, craftsmen, heritage re-enactors, bakers, candy makers and vintage car owners.