Sweet potato fans relish fun festival on Saturday

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hot fish sandwiches, heavenly voices in praise, arts and crafts and an array of baked goods featuring the vegetable of the day: the Butler County Optimist Club offered all this and more to attendees last Saturday.

During a beautiful “made-to-order” day at the Butler County Fair Grounds, various gospel groups performed during the morning with the annual Sweet Potato King and Queen Pageant taking place in the afternoon.

Visitors could browse among custom-made gift buckets and baskets, hair accessories, decorative signs and Tupperware, and choose from sweet potato muffins, bread and pies, along with a variety of cakes, homemade jams, jellies and chow-chow to take home. Baskets and bags of sweet potatoes were also available for purchase.

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Ada Lee Williams, who was clapping along with the live gospel music at midday, said she “thoroughly enjoyed” her fresh hot fish sandwich.

Children had a gleeful time in the inflatable and participated in coloring pages and face painting.

Optimist Willie Mae Robinson was doing a brisk business selling her blue ribbon-winning home-canned goods, with her fig preserves flying off the shelves.

Attendee Mae Ellis, a first-timer at the event, took home three cakes. “If you are going to come to such events, you need to support them,” she said as she wrote her check.

Proceeds from the annual event go toward youth activities in the county, including the Annual Respect for Law Enforcement Banquet, The Annual Youth Oratorical Contest, and providing tickets to students for Greenville Area Arts Council performances.