5,000 attend annual Bostwick festival
By Nick Nunn
From the often irregular tempo set by the antiquated tractors to the steady pulse of pork being chopped behind the post office, Bostwick experiences its noisiest day of the year during the Cotton Gin Festival every November, and this year was no different.
Along with the steady roar of the cotton gin itself, the small town came alive with a living rhythm that reached out onto the barricaded streets.
Well before dawn, vendors arrived in Bostwick to begin setting up their tents and stands.
The Gin Run 5K race began at 9 a.m. with 181 participants, mostly local runners, registered for the event. Matt May, 28, of Athens, placed first in the race with a time of 16 minutes and 15 seconds.
Zach Stone and Dalton Shaw, runners for Morgan County’s cross country teams, came in third and fifth, respectively.
Before the parade began at 11 a.m., many of the food vendors already had lines in front of their booths.
In addition to barbecue, which was one of the most commonly found food items on the menus, several vendors offered their takes on boiled peanuts, funnel cakes, and homemade ice cream.
“There wasn't a food vendor without a line from 11 (a.m.) to 3 (p.m.),” said Angie Howard, who heads the Cotton Gin Festival.
The arts and crafts vendors’ goods were no less diverse, ranging from wicker baskets, preserves, and hardwood furniture to tie-dyed clothing for children.
“Vendors did really well,” said Howard. “Several vendors that were new to the festival stated that they had never done so well and hoped to be invited back next year!”
As scheduled, the parade ran about an hour, featuring new and vintage tractors and automobiles making their way slowly down the stretch of Highway 83 between 2nd Street and Wellington Road.
All in all, this year’s festival was a success.
“Based on parking fees and judging on the crowd from the balcony of the hotel we saw 5,000 people this year,” noted Howard.
Although Angie acknowledges that it is lot of work putting the festival together every year, it is always worth the effort.
“After many thoughts about why I chair this festival and listening to people talk how much it means to them, I will continue my efforts.”
Printed in the November 8, 2012 edition