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ACV kicks off fall with Autumn Fest 2018

Above: A steady crowd of visitors enjoyed ACV’s Autumn Fest 2018. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Sweet Harmony performing some favorite oldies along with some hymns of praise. L-R: Cassandra Hunter, Arletta Kline, and Lora Tyre. -Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Young

ACV President Emeritus
J. Pomeroy and wife, Jerry Lynn Carter enjoyed the festival.

-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Deputy Greg Kastor from Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office enjoyed watching everyone have a good time. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

By Tami Stevenson

Visitors yearning to get out and enjoy the cooler weather took advantage of a beautiful, North Florida sweater weather day, last Saturday, as Advent Christian Village (ACV) in Dowling Park entertained a steady crowd at their annual Autumn Fest event. Parking lots were full and cars lined up nearly all the way to CR 250. The event took place in the Village Square and was scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. They had a steady influx of newcomers till the end.

James Sutter, ACV’s Community Life Coordinator, said he believes moving the date of the festival to the first week in November, which meant cooler temperatures, made a difference in the turnout. They had over 60 vendors sign up this year. People were less worried about being hot and visitors seemed to linger longer as they shopped the different booths filled with everything from fine art to jewelry and handmade items. They listened to the popular ‘Sweet Harmony’ singers, watched the Village Cloggers and other live entertainment.

It was all things pumpkin at Autumn Fest as they held a pumpkin decorating contest and a baking contest for the most delicious pumpkin-based dish. Instead of a car show this year they decided to feature antique tractors and engines. The sounds and smoke coming from the engines chugging drew children and adults alike.

Among the antique tractors on display, Danny Thornton came all the way from Jacksonville with two hit and miss engines. He used his 1920’s John Deere engine to power an air hose that blew up balloons for the kids at the festival. Children learned these all purpose engines would power anything from a water pump to a washing machine or sawing wood. People today could call them old fashioned generators. The other engine he trailered from Jacksonville was a 1912 hit and miss Fairbanks-Morse 6 HP engine.

His brother, Jonathon Thornton, of Live Oak, brought an antique can crusher, built in 1910. He had some aluminum cans available for demonstrations to show how these engines still did their job today and were built to last a lifetime and beyond, if taken care of. Another engine on display was used to pump water.

The Village Square was filled with the aroma of funnel cakes, BBQ and other sweet and savory festival cuisine.
The Grill Team, a favorite of the the festival for years, owned by Steve and Mary Bridges, sold their delectable meats. Among other things, they offered ribs, pulled pork, chicken and whole pork butts. Their teenage nephew Anthony (Bubba) Bridges helped his aunt and uncle wait on customers.

With the devastation of the panhandle due to Hurricane Michael, this year they have a mission, “Feeding the Fisherman”. On the 29th and 30th of November, the Bridges, along with others, are going to Eastpoint and Carrabelle, Florida and the rural areas in between to give out food. Bridges said they hope to feed 300 families 16 meals each. They are mapping out the route now and will have four teams going door to door in these rural areas passing out meals.

“God has been good,” he said. “That is our goal and we are looking for more sponsors.” The cost to feed a family is $25.00. One hundred percent of every donation goes to feeding the people, he added. Anyone wanting more information can call 229-561-2062 or 229-300-6350.
The Grill Team also held a drawing for two turkeys. Lynn Sweat from ACV and Sharon Smith of Madison won the turkeys.

Scott Carroll, of Lake City, emceed the event for the fourth year in a row. Carroll said he has been DJ-ing for 37 years and remembers toting vinyl records around to parties and events in the beginning of his career. He readily admitted to being thankful for technology today as all the music can now fit on a tiny thumb drive.

Pumpkin decorating contest winners were:
1st place: Peggy Eckel, hollowed out a pumpkin with a miniature farm inside including people, animals, a house and battery-operated lights
2nd place: Chuck Eckel, painted forest home
3rd place: Jan MacNeill, carved lion head

Pumpkin yummies contest winners were:
1st place: Dorothy Marvick, pumpkin cookies
2nd place: Carol Kueppers, pumpkin nut cake
3rd place: Dot Shuman, pumpkin whoopie pies

Antique engines and tractors sat at the entrance to the Village Square, Saturday, November 3, for ACV’s Autum Fest, 2018.
-SVT Photo By Tami Stevenson

Jonathon Thornton, of Live Oak, demonstrating an antique can crusher, built in 1910. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

The Village Art Guild had paintings on display and for sale at the festival, Saturday. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

The Grill Team, owned by Steven and Mary Bridges, along with the help of nephew Anthony (Bubba) Bridges, sold their delicious meats while organizing a fundraiser for those in need in the panhandle.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Charles Bell, owner of The Shaving Pile, was wearing a cowboy hat made entirely out of one piece of wood from a Live Oak, and had a few of them for sale. They were surprisingly light!
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson