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Rain doesn’t stop Farm Day

Misting rain and overcast skies couldn’t keep folks from going down on the farm.

In spite of Saturday’s inclement weather, the latest edition of Old Time Farm Day in Butler County saw approximately 1,000 visitors flock to the site off Sandcutt Road.

Attendees and participants came from as far away as South Carolina and Tennessee, organizers say.

The event actually kicked off on Friday with a first for OTFD – Children’s Day.

Kindergarteners and first graders from W.O. Parmer, McKenzie and Butler County Magnet School took tours of the site and saw exhibitions of blacksmithing, cow milking, visited a petting zoo, took wagon rides and “generally had a blast,” said Deborah Salter, OTFD secretary. They also enjoyed a Children’s Day exclusive – learning how to make apple butter.

“The kids had fun and they were also learning. We had some great AmeriCorps volunteers assisting us with the children,” Salter said.

“This is something we hope to continue as an annual tradition with our local schoolchildren.”

Among the new additions to Farm Day on Saturday were a team of Belgian horses; Tommy and Kay Hall of Evergreen’s petting zoo, featuring talking parrot Zooby, the bunny movie stars from “Honeydripper,” and miniature cattle from Africa; Smokey the Bear, who danced with the youngsters during rainy spells; Shetland pony rides; Indian artifacts with Mike Shaw, who demonstrated making arrowheads, and a new wagon trail.

“The Heartsills cleared a path through the woods and built a little shotgun house and old-timey moonshine still back there. The kids got to ride back there and get a sample of ‘white lightning’ – actually orange drink,” OTFD volunteer Virginia Branum said.

Jennifer Philen was on hand to demonstrate caning on chair bottoms, while the ever-popular Debra Martin returned with her milk cow Daisy, and a calf and pig.

Blacksmithing, mule plowing, syrup making, vintage tractor parade and other OTFD favorites went on as scheduled in spite of the misting rain.

“Rain didn’t stop people from enjoying our cakewalks, either, for both children and adults,” said Branum.

And speaking of edible treats, Branum says the concessions, including smoked BBQ sandwiches, hamburgers, sausage dogs and more “were absolutely wonderful.”

A variety of arts and crafts were also offered, including kudzu baskets and handcrafted birdhouses.

Emcee David Norrell gave away “loads of great door prizes” throughout the day, Salter said.

“We so appreciate all our vendors, sponsors, our volunteers and everyone who made this a successful event,” Branum said.

Branum and Salter sum up Old Time Farm Day 2009 with these words: “Messy but fun.”

“We want to invite all our faithful supporters to a cookout on November 10 at 6:30 p.m. It’s our way of saying thank you for helping us make this event happen in Butler County,” Salter said.