Cotton Gin Festival had ‘another great year’ organizers say

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

By Nick Nunn Staff Writer During a Nov. 4 meeting, the Bostwick City Council discussed the previous weekend’s Cotton Gin Festival. City Council Member Angie Howard heads up the Cotton Gin Festival each year, and she described this year’s festival as “another great year.”

Howard stated that a number of food and craft vendors came up to her and thanked her for being able to take part in the festival, noting that the vendors “made a ton of money.”

“The vendors were happy,” said Howard. Howard also said that the city sold more Cotton Gin Festival shirts than they had in previous years. She said that, by 10 a.m., most of the shirts had all sold out.

Howard is ordering a limited amount of additional shirts to be sold locally for people that were not able to get a shirt on the day of the festival. Although Howard described the detour signs around the city as “phenomenal,” she was not happy with the parking signs in the city, which created confusion in some of the designated parking areas.

According to Howard, a “breakdown in communication” led to people not paying for parking and parking along the streets. Howard stated that more than $5,500 was raised in parking fees during the festival but estimated that close to $10,000 could have been raised if parking had run smoothly.

Howard plans on utilizing a “parking crew” during the festival next year to streamline the parking process. During the meeting, Howard said that she is “still tallying” the figures from the day, so she couldn’t give an estimate of how much the city raised from the festival.

The funds raised from the Cotton Gin Festival go toward the Susie Agnes Hotel Fund. Bostwick Mayor John Bostwick stated during the meeting that a total of $9,800 had been spent recently on redoing electrical work in the upstairs rooms.

The council then voted to approve an expenditure of $3,700 for “cleanup and stabilization” of the upstairs rooms in order to prepare for the installation of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which will take place at a later date. Bostwick estimated that the installation of an HVAC system would require approximately from $10,000 to $12,000 but could not say whether that cost could be paid after this year’s festival or if they would have to wait until after next year’s festival. “Getting it cleaned up in there would be great,” said Bostwick.

The council also voted to put new gravel on Railroad Street in order to maintain the roadway. Bostwick brought up the possibility of closing the road completely, but the council determined it would be best to do a little work to keep the road up.

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