MOUNT VERNON — Though cooler and cloudier than expected, the weather remained dry for the combined First Friday/Fourth of July festival at Memorial Park.
“What are all these clouds doing here?” joked Heritage Centre Association President Lynne Ricard as the event got under way. “That’s not what I ordered.”
But the clouds and breeze kept things pleasantly cool for the patrons who began filtering in as the afternoon wore on.
Joshua and Sarah Young from Jelloway were setting up their tent and table at Family Concessions, which they took over this year from Sarah’s father, Larry Woolson. Woolson ran the kettle corn operation for the previous 20 years. The Youngs, who are on the road every weekend from May to September covering an area from Michigan to Cincinnati to Marietta, said it takes about an hour to set up their equipment. They were helped by their 9-year-old son, Jonathan, and have other family members work big shows.
They love local shows, supporting the community with 100 percent local popcorn bought from farmer Allen Stockberger in Gambier. The Youngs said they have actually seen a big increase in business due to the economy, as people are staying close to home and attending less expensive events.
“Americans can pull together really well when times get tough,” Sarah said.
The band Autumn Daze, featuring well-known musicians Roger Chalfant, keyboards and vocals, and Dave Metcalf, guitar and vocals, as well as other ringers, sounded great throughout the park as they played a wide range of oldies and classic rock favorites, from “Woolly Bully” to “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”
“They’re playing in our era: The ’60s,” said audience member Mary Shrimplin, nodding her head to the beat as she listened.
The band will be playing later this summer at the Knox County Fair, at the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival, and at the Lexington Blueberry Festival.
Harry Grandstaff drove a beautifully restored ’48 International KB-1 pickup truck in for the classic car cruise-in. The truck, painted with the logo “Cranberry Road Farm,” was originally bought in Florida, he said. During restoration, two amusing phrases were painted under the hood of the attractive yet unflashy vehicle: “It’s only a work truck” and “Chrome don’t get you home.”