HAMLET – The last Saturday in October has been the day of the Seaboard Festival on Main Street in Hamlet for the last 35 years. Drawing a large crowd of current residents, former residents back for a reunion with old friends, and residents of neighboring counties, the festival is a celebration for the city of Hamlet.
Responsible for the yearlong planning of the festival is the Seaboard Festival committee with Chuck Cobb as its 2018 president. This committee has been hard at work mailing applications, contacting potential vendors, entertainers, and crafters to make this year’s event as interesting, fun and entertaining as possible.
According to Cobb, the planning “is going very well. We had a meeting last night and we are on target with our timeline.” He gives a lot of credit to the current board members, most of whom are new to the festival committee, but with the help of long time committee member Nancy Averette in an advisory role, plans have been going smoothly.
Diane Mabe, a festival committee member, is excited about what the committee has put together so far.
In an email she writes, “Our committee this year has functioned as a team…we have been focused from the beginning on listening to the citizens of our community and what they want to see in their Seaboard Festival. We are honored to be a part of the great planning process and we certainly hope everyone will enjoy the 2018 Seaboard Festival as much as we have truly enjoyed planning it.”
Diane also states that, as of September 5, there are 135 vendors signed up with less than 10 open spaces available. Food vendor spaces are already full so they are not taking any more applications for food.
There are about 40 new vendors this year with the focus being on an increase in the number of crafters. As always, there will be plenty of children’s activities (e.g., inflatable bounce houses; an inflatable mechanical bull; bungee trampolines; face painting; carnival games; and the small scale train the kids can ride set up in the parking lot by the Tornado building.
A new food vendor in the mix this year will be selling organic acai and pitaya bowls along with fruit smoothies. Returning favorites include Chef Hogate with chicken-on-a-stick, vendors selling turkey drums and collard green sandwiches, funnel cakes, lemonade and more will be on Main Street.
On the library lawn will be the familiar faces of craft demonstrators of years past including Gene Ross with his train barbecue smoker; Tommy Mercer demonstrating flint knapping; Ed Snyder’s blacksmithing demonstration; Jimmy Strickland with his black powder gun craft; and Kat Altimus quilting.
Another longtime favorite of the festival is the Conductor’s Call Contest. This will take place at 1:00 p.m. with cash prizes being awarded to the first, second and third place winners in an adult category; ages 15 & up, and a category for kids ages 14 & under.
The festival committee is still looking for volunteers to help on the day of the festival. For more information about being a volunteer contact Chuck Cobb at (910) 995-5966.