More than 7,500 attend annual Bostwick Cotton Gin Festival
By Patrick Yost
Organizers of the 19th annual Bostwick Cotton Gin festival were pleased with the crowds and funds raised.
At the regular Bostwick City Council meeting Monday, Bostwick City Council Member Angie Howard, who also served as chairman of the festival, reported that the event had raised more than $11,000. Howard also estimated that more than 7,500 people attended the event.
Funds raised through the festival go towards renovation of Bostwick’s Susie Agnes Hotel. The hotel currently serves as municipal offices for the city as renovations to the structure continue.
“We reached our goal,” Howard said.
She also said 214 tractors participated in the festival’s parade, marking one of the largest confluence of tractors in a Georgia festival.
Howard said she had already begun planning next year’s festival and as the festival consistently grows, the city has to begin planning for growth.
“My only question is can we handle any more people?” Howard said. Parking may become an issue. “If we’re going to grow we’ve got to figure out a way to facilitate parking.”
Howard also requested and received approval from the council to create an ordinance that would forbid unauthorized vendors from selling merchandise in the city the day of the festival. She suggested that the council draft an ordinance that would permit only vendors approved by festival organizers the opportunity to conduct business in the city the day of the festival. “It’s not fair for us to work as hard as we do… and then somebody else capitalizes from the crowd. Mayor John Bostwick said the city would draft an ordinance to that affect.
In other Bostwick City Council business, the council:
• Approved a request by Howard to name the recently completed sidewalk on Fairplay Street the “Tommy Trail” in honor of native Bostwick resident Tommy Tyson. Howard said Tyson, a fixture in the Bostwick community and a Fairplay Street resident, utilizes the sidewalk and that the sidewalk had made Tyson’s daily walks into town safer. The council approved a request to erect a sign designating the sidewalk the “Tommy Trail.”