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Cave Spring art festival carries on in spite of steady rain

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CAVE SPRING — The chilly rain didn’t dampen the holiday spirit at Small Town Christmas in the Country as the arts festival held its 13th annual event in Rolater Park this weekend.

The two-day festival managed to have one day of good weather, just dealing with a few clouds on Saturday until rain hit Cave Spring around 3:30 p.m. However, rain decided to come early Sunday, with a light drizzle settling in for the day.

“We had a large crowd Saturday,” said Susan Childers, one of the festival organizers. “We had the most vendors we’ve ever had at 160, which was a big jump from last year’s 125.”

Childers said the festival-goers were enthusiastic as well, excited to see new items.

“People were parked all the way down to the town square,” she explained. “I love this, because it is great for business for the whole town, including the businesses on the square.”

Many vendors inside the Hearn Academy in the park were still receiving a steady run of business Sunday and many booth operators moved around the building, exploring each other’s booths.

Sisters Meg and Anna Kapustay arranged samples on their booth of baked goods before they ran outside to grab a snack at one of the food vendors in the park.

“This is my first year here and Meg’s second year. It’s a lot of fun and it is good to see so many people,” Anna.

Rachel Johnson brought her “mascot” and inspiration, her son Isaiah Johnson, with her to her booth in Hearn.

“I make hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, jewelry,” she said. “I’m a jack of all trades, really.”

Isaiah has influenced her wares, because since having her son — who just turned 8 months old — she’s been making more baby hats.

“Next year, I’ll have more toddler hats,” she laughed.

Just down the hall and through a doorway, Linda Hall sat at her booth selling fudge, teacakes and honey. The owner of Blue Willow Antiques and Sweets in Cave Spring had decided to bring her most-loved treats to the festival.

“My best seller is the maple and bacon fudge,” she said.

Two participants — Patti Stephens and Gay Cabatit — in the Santa Sprint took time to browse before the run started in the square.

“I love seeing all of the Christmas stuff,” explained Stephens, a native of Cave Spring who now lives in Rome. “And oh, my gosh, there’s fudge.”

Stephens had caught sight of Hall’s booth.

“I drive down here all the time to buy her fudge,” Stephens said. “But I can’t eat any before the run.”

Shopper Kirstie Adams of Rome said she braved the weather because she wanted to support the festival.

“This is a good place to find unique Christmas gifts,” Adams said.

Donnette Elliott of Rock­mart made special arrangements to visit the festival, she said.

“I got someone to work for me today,” she said. “I’ll be working tomorrow, but I didn’t want to miss this. I love the handmade items.”

Vendors also banded together to help each other out.

“We combined booths,” laughed Terri Albright of Hueytown, Alabama. “I didn’t have a canopy for mine, so Vonzille helped me out.”

Albright joined forces with Vonzille and Doyle Newton of Anni­s­­ton, Alabama, to brave the rain in their tent in the park, selling stained glass wall hangings and ornaments.