Leila Dycus Staff Writer
Thirty-one years and still kickin’! The Rutledge Fair brought handmade crafters, musicians, local restaurants, and residents together for a memorable country fair this past Saturday, May 24.
“We just moved here, and the community of just everyone coming together- seeing a town work together has been really fun,” said Danielle Copeland.
On Saturday, the town of Rutledge came out to enjoy the annual Country Fair. The morning began early with 46 vendors pouring into the city park. At 11a.m. a parade came through the center of town. Music, food and shopping filled the rest of the day. “It just so much fun, it’s all about this community Rutledge- it’s just a big family event,” said Rutledge resident Frankie Beers.
For thirty-one years the community has been joining together to celebrate the season. This year’s fair was in honor of community members that have lost their lives. Weather new to Rutledge or long time residents the townspeople came out in masses to watch the parade. The parade begun with the annual proclamation to remove the town’s barrel stop sign.
Rutledge is the only town that has a barrel stop sign and it is only removed for the fair parade. As community members sang the rolling out the barrel song the sign was hoisted onto a trailer to be brought back later. Dr. Michael Hughes led the ceremony and the parade. Rutledge fire trucks and EMS sported names of community members that have been lost including previous Mayor Medford and fallen Eatonton police officer Noel Hawk ushered the parade in.
Loganville Shriners, Morgan County Relay Queens, The Rutledge Dirt Girls and Gardening Club and Centennial Baptist Church all participated in the parade. Veterans were honored and civil war reenactment soldiers walked through the parade shooting off blanks, stirring up the crowd and bringing Morgan County history to life. John Deere and McCormick Farm Well Tractors cruised through the center of town. MCHS homecoming queen and king road through the parade in the Hard Labor Creek wagon;Two groups of horseback riders brought up the rear of the parade. After the parade residents and visitors indulged on local delicacies.
The Caboose, Big Kev’s BBQ and Yesterday’s Café provided treats for everyone. This year’s vendors were better than ever, topping in numbers and style. Joellen Artz, one of the event coordinators said that this year she required everything be homemade. Thirty vendors had to be turned down due to lack of space in the park.
The new safari park and the Humane Society of Morgan County offered information and furry friends to the days events. Music radiated through the town as many stopped into listen. Kids flocked to the bounce houses and trampolines, got their faces painted and enjoyed snow cones and cotton candy. “It was a hot day but the breeze was nice and the kids had fun,” said resident Nancy Anderson. Despite high temperatures the responses of everyone in attendance were good. Artz said that vendors asked to be invited to come back next year and shoppers said it was the best collection of vendors yet. She continued by thanking Michael Hughes, his staff, Adrianna Lachappelle, Kris Bray and the city of Rutledge who assisted in putting the event together.