LAUREL HILL — It may not be North Okaloosa County’s largest festival, but for the county’s smallest municipality, the Laurel Hill Arts and Heritage Festival is pretty big.
And it’s growing.
“This year’s is going to be our biggest yet,” the Rev. Mark Broadhead, pastor of the festival’s sponsor, the Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church, said.
Broadhead said Saturday’s event has attracted 20 artist and craftsmen exhibitors — up seven from last year’s event, which had to be cancelled due to weather — and nine community organizations and services.
Six performers and groups will provide music throughout the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. event, ranging from solo vocalists to full bands and a martial arts team.
The presence of social service organizations, including the OneBlood bloodmobile, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Children and Families, is important, Broadhead said. “These organizations are often critical to our rural neighbors,” Broadhead said. “But not everyone has the time or ability to meet with them in their south county offices.”
Community, educational and cultural exhibitors include the Baker Block Museum, the Friends of the Arts, Friends of the Library, and the Crestview Area Sister City Program.
Recreation opportunities include a bounce-house — “Our organizers assure me there will be adult time in it,” Broadhead said — and an archery range supervised by Laurel Hill City Councilman Scott Moneypenny and his wife, Kathleen, certified archery instructors.
Food includes grilled treats benefiting the First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s men’s group, drinks and snacks benefiting Laurel Hill School’s fifth-grade trip, and Scout Cobbler, prepared in Dutch ovens by scouts from Troop 773.