LAUREL HILL — Not too many residents know what they’re doing April 29, 2017, but woodworker Dannis Young does. He plans to exhibit at next year’s Laurel Hill Arts and Heritage Festival.
Young, one of 20 local and regional artists and crafters, sold the biggest piece in his exhibit of turned bowls and vases within moments of this year’s April 30 festival’s 11 a.m. start.
“We like coming to this festival,” Young, a Crestview resident, said. “Everybody’s so nice up here.”
Organizers at the Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church said this year’s community festival was their most successful to date, and promptly put next year’s event on the calendar.
“It was a wonderful turn out,” the Rev. Mark Broadhead, the church’s pastor, said. “We really appreciate these folks bringing their God-given gifts up here to share with the community.”
In addition to Young and his fellow artists, nine social services and community organizations introduced themselves to an estimated 300 attendees.
New for the festivals’ fifth year was an archery range supervised by certified hunter safety instructors Scott and Kathleen Moneypenny. Junior hunter safety instructor Will Stewart, 16, provided tips for younger Robin Hood wannabes.
“He volunteered to come out and teach other kids bow-and-arrow safety,” Scott Moneypenny, a Laurel Hill City Councilman, said.
Classic vehicles on display included Old Red, the Laurel Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s 1940s International fire truck, a mammoth 1951 Packard and a sleek 1958 Thunderbird.
Entertainers included Crestview singer and guitarist Jenna Lewis, who recently won gold medals in both the contemporary and classical vocal categories at the annual Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympic competition and will sing in the July national competition in Cincinnati.
Like Jenna, Christian guitarist and vocalist Scott Hicks and The Wesley Girls gospel trio were new to the lineup, which included returnees vocalist Aaron Overton, Emerald Coast Pipes and Drums, the Northwest Florida State College jazz ensemble, The Wesley Boys and Gordon Martial Arts.
Mayor Robby Adams and his wife, Councilwoman Debra Adams, welcomed the festival as a family friendly and cultural event for their community.
“It’s a beautiful day for it,” Debra Adams said.
“We want to invite these exhibitors back in October for the Hobo Festival,” Robby Adams added.