Sweet Potato Festival set for Saturday

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For 17 years, the Butler County Optimist Club has hosted its Sweet Potato Festival to raise money for its scholarships and various projects.

On Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.at the Butler Fair Grounds, the festival will feature a gospel idol search, crowning a Mrs. Sweet Potato, games, face painting, air jumps, a children’s book author who will have story time on stage and various vendors that will sell preservers, pies, cakes, different foods and funnel cakes.

The admission is free but to items from the vendors will cost money since each one is independent from the event. “The first year, it started out at Lomax-Hannon,” President Deirdre Womack said. “The club just started by selling a few sweet potato pies, then it moved to the fair grounds and more things were incorporated.”

The club’s motto is “Bringing Out The Best In Kids,” and it supports several initiatives including: funding for local needy families with a child suffering with cancer, Childhood Cancer, Relay for Life, Art Appreciation and Special Olympics.

The club also works to raise money for Youth Achievement Scholarships.

“Our biggest ones are the essay and oratorical contest,” Womack said. “With that, the contest will compete on our local level, the zone level and the regional level and the winner from our region will represent us at the district competition. They stand a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship, and we’ll see a scholarship on the local level.”

Womack said the club really hopes to get young people involved with the Junior Golf scholarship because someone can win $2,500 as well. Anyone can participate in the scholarships if he or she is under the age of 19 and in school.

Womack said everyone should come out and listed reasons people should attend the event.

“Because of the scholarship and opportunity we provide for the young people and the different initiatives that we support and to have fun good family fun,” Womack said. “We just want everyone to come out and support us.”