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McKenzie Fest Celebrates 12th year

by Lori Brown

The McKenzie Fire Department held its 12th annual McKenzie Fest last Saturday as dozens of the town’s residents as well as residents from neighboring counties came out to support the department.

Fun, food, fellowship and family are four words that embody what McKenzie Fest has become through the years. It began 12 years ago to raise money in order to help the fire department have the necessary funds to operate.

This year, Tamala and Doug Lee designed a ride for the young children that they coined “The Party Pals train.” The seats were made out of plastic drums and connected together so that the children felt as if they were on a real train ride. Doug Lee made this himself with the vision of helping the fire department.

“Since we have been participating in McKenzie Fest all the monies raised have been donated back to the McKenzie Fire Department,” Tamala Lee said.

Another vendor from McKenzie at the festival was Heather Odom. Her business, Anchored Hope, creates and sells various types of wooden signs for all types of occasions.

“We are always looking for ways to give back and this event is big for our small town,” she said.

Other vendors included Tori Norris, Tupperware; Lecole Bush, Scentsy; Pat Piggott, homemade crafts; Bobbie Odom Royster, arts and crafts booth and and many more.

In addition to the arts and crafts vendors, there were also several food vendors at McKenzie Fest. The Church of the Living God, Mills Chapel Church and Shneqwa Bone and the McKenzie Volunteer Fire Department offered visitors their choice of hamburgers, hot dogs, rib plates, chicken plates and seafood salad to satisfy their hunger in between shopping.

In total, this year’s McKenzie Fest had 24 vendors, but they are hoping for many more next year.

“We appreciate everyone’s participation and support,” Leann Waters, the festival’s organizer, said. “This fundraiser helps us so much throughout the year.”

Waters said that applications for next year’s McKenzie Fest would be available in January or February of 2019. She is hoping that in years to come McKenzie Fest will continue to grow.

McKenzie Fest is typically held the second Saturday in May.