Rain can’t dampen Springfest

LOWELL – It was a bit windy, but there were only a few light sprinkles Saturday to dampen this weekend’s 28th annual Springfest on Lowell’s Buell Island.

“We had a fairly good crowd starting around 10 a.m. Saturday, but overall the festival attendance has seemed a little lower this year,” village council member Steve Weber said Sunday, the final day of the weekend event.

Frank and Monica Farnsworth, of Waterford, were among the 14 vendors selling a variety of crafts, collectibles and other items during the Springfest. Frank had a collection of pocket and hunting knives, as well as some jewelry and pottery on display Sunday afternoon.

“We come here every spring and in the fall for the Octoberfest, but it has been slow this year,” Monica said. “I think they need more entertainment and activities. They used to have a dance in the field on Saturday night for young people, and there was a talent show for the kids.”

Frank agreed, noting the Springfest crowds may vary from year to year.

“The crowd seems way down, compared to last year,” he said. “But we’ve been doing this for about eight years now, and we’ll be back for Octoberfest this fall.”

Nearby a group of cheerleaders from Lowell Elementary School were performing in front of a bake sale booth.

“We’re trying to raise money for uniforms,” said Hannah Pomeroy, one of the fifth- and sixth-grade class cheerleaders.

Rachelle Johnson, whose daughter Katie is also a Lowell cheerleader, said the Springfest had been good to the group.

“This is the first year we’ve had a booth at the festival, and on Saturday they earned around $200 from the bake sale,” she said.

Next door Liz Zimmerman, of Lowell, was also experiencing her first year as a Springfest vendor, selling craft items made out of wine bottles.

“I call it wine craft, using wine bottles for lamps, wine wind chimes, and other crafts – if you can think of it, I can make it,” she said.

Zimmerman said the annual Springfest and Octoberfest are successful because of community effort.

“They say it takes a village, and our community has to keep working together to keep this event on track every year,” she said.

Leo and Mary Ellen Daniels, of Marietta, said the Springfest has been a family tradition for years.

“We come every year to both the Springfest and Octoberfest,” Leo said Sunday. “There’s usually some bad weather over the weekend, but it’s been a great day today. And our kids loved to come here when they were young.”

Friends Linda McCumbers and Janice Minear, of Parkersburg, found a real treasure at the Springfest on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a steam canner, and I only paid $8 for it,” she said. “I’ll be canning pickled beets using my mom’s old family recipe.”

Minear picked up a package of homemade noodles from a festival vendor.

“We come here every year and always find a lot of antiques and crafts, but something different every time,” she said. “And we’d even come if it was raining.”

Weber said vendor fees and donations garnered from raffles and a 50/50 drawing help support activities and upkeep of the village park on Buell Island.

“Part of that revenue will go toward a new roof for the swimming pool building and we’re trying to build up our playground equipment, too,” he said.