Despite a forecast that called for rain in the area, the 7th annual McKenzie Fest went on largely as planned, according to event organizers. The event, which is held annually on the second Saturday in May, serves as the primary fundraiser for the McKenzie Volunteer Fire Department. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)
Despite a forecast that called for rain in the area, the 7th annual McKenzie Fest went on largely as planned, according to event organizers. The event, which is held annually on the second Saturday in May, serves as the primary fundraiser for the McKenzie Volunteer Fire Department. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Archived Story

McKenzie Fest ‘a success’

Published 3:36pm Monday, May 13, 2013

There was at least one group of McKenzie residents that was thrilled area weather forecasters missed the mark on Saturday.

Despite a forecast that called for rain in the area, the 7th annual McKenzie Fest went on largely as planned, according to event organizers. The event, which is held annually on the second Saturday in May, serves as the primary fundraiser for the McKenzie Volunteer Fire Department.

“Despite everyone saying it was going to rain, we still had a good crowd,” said LeAnn Waters, McKenzie Volunteer Fire Department secretary. “A lot of people were out of town watching (the McKenzie School softball team) and others might have stayed away (because of the threat of rain), but overall we had a good turnout.”

Waters said that a number of vendors from Mississippi and Florida who had paid for booth space at the event, ended up not coming due to the threat of rain. Organizers expected to have 35 vendors on hand, but ended up with approximately 20.

“We had less than we had expected, but they had paid for their spaces in advance, so that didn’t hurt us as far as our fundraising efforts,” Waters said.

According to Waters, the total amount of money raised from the event hasn’t been calculated yet.

While the final total may not be in, Waters said the event was a success.

“We decided that we were going to get as much in as we could, even if it was supposed to rain, and we ended up having a great event,” she said. “This is our big fundraiser every year, so we were thrilled to be able to have it as planned.”

Waters said the MVFD uses the money raised from the event to service and purchase equipment, as well as pay for training for its firefighters.

“It cost a lot of money to operate a fire department,” she said. “We get some money from the state, but not a lot. The Town of McKenzie is a big help, and does what it can, but this money is very necessary for us to be able to operate as a fire department.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the MVFD can contact Waters at (334) 374-0069.

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