Celebrate Van Wyck returns for 14th year Saturday

joverman@fortmilltimes.comSeptember 4, 2012 

— The Celebrate Van Wyck festival returns for its 14th year Saturday.

The small community of Van Wyck hosts one of the biggest festivals in the area, drawing people from around the Carolinas and sometimes as far away as Virginia.

“For a small community that isn’t much but a crossroads, we have one heck of a festival,” organizer Ollie Bass said.

The festival centers around that crossroads, the intersection of Old Hickory Road and Hwy. 75. Nine food vendors will set up around the Van Wyck Community Center selling food ranging from funnel cakes to fried turkey legs and fried fish sandwiches. Dozens of arts and crafts vendors will also be set up around and inside the community center, where festival goers can get a break from the heat and continue to browse.

While folks amble through the vendor section, children will be drawn to the Van Wyck Express, the children’s train, which runs along a path behind the community center. As the train rides around the path, it passes by the Van Wyck Mining Company, which will be open for gem mining.

Pony rides will also be offered.

“We have a good variety of new vendors and vendors that have been coming since we started,” Bass said. “People just love it.”

A stage will be set up with acts performing throughout the day. Music will range from bluegrass to oldies and beach music. Acts include The Soul Revivers, featuring Leander “Lebo” Blackmon, of “Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.”

Students from Kenaki Karate Association will do a demonstration and instructors will teach self defense techniques. Spin Revolutions, a hula hoop performing group, will perform as well.

Missing from the festival this year will be the car show, Bass said. Attendance at the show has dropped off in recent years, Bass said.

Proceeds from the festival help run the community center’s events and activities and maintain the building.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. around the Van Wyck Community Center at 5036 Old Hickory Road. For more information email Bass at olliebass@lycos.com.

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