Despite the dismal weather that dropped about 2 inches of rain on Floyd County, Cave Spring’s Small Town Christmas in the Country carried on with 80 vendors present on its first day and visitors from all over attending.
Weather problems are a risk for outdoor events such as this, however there was a steady flow of people dropping by, said Susan Childers, who organizes the event. She added that the people venturing out to Rolater Park weren’t just locals; some had traveled from Carrollton, Dallas, Cartersville, Marietta, Alabama and Tennessee.
“You’ll be surprised how far people travel,” she said.
Customers weren’t the only ones who traveled. Vendors at Christmas in the Country came from out of town as well. Highlander Forge, two Tennessee blacksmiths with Scottish heritage, were there hammering out merchandise and placing it on their tables. You Could but Would You, a booth from Piedmont, Alabama, had two tents full of Christmas décor. Their name is a humorous poke at the people who come to craft shows and audibly say they could just make the crafts at home.
Local vendors also turned out. Kara’s Canvases, local author Mike Ragland, Southernly Sweet Crafts, the Cave Spring Distillery and locally made canned goods all had booths.
With these local vendors were teachers at Pepperell Elementary who were selling artwork made by their autistic students.
Rachel Hall, who teaches third through fifth grades, said the money made from selling the students’ art goes to pay for school supplies, a snack store and — most importantly — field trips.
“Last year this paid for all but one of our field trips,” she said. “We go on two a month, and last year only had to ask parents to give money for one field trip.”
The snack store is another project the teachers use to help educate the kids. Hall said the teachers buy the snacks and set up a store for the students to buy snacks using fake money, giving them real world experience.
Childers said there were 50 vendors inside the Hearn Academy building, with 30 in the upstairs areas alone. Most were supposed to be outside, with the upstairs portion of the building to be left alone, she said. However with the rain soaking Rolater Park, those who had more fragile art were moved inside while some chose to stick it out in the rain.
“There will be more vendors tomorrow,” she added.
The 15th annual Small Town Christmas in the Country will continue at Rolater Park today with a forecast of sunny weather and a high temperature in the low 70s, according to the National Weather Service. Guests are also encouraged to visit downtown shops while in town as well as the cabin on the square. Food vendors will also be on hand, and Santa Claus will be in the cave today and will be available for pictures.
Small Town Christmas in the Country will be in Rolater Park from noon-4 p.m. today with vendors expected to give discounts in the final two hours.
Hugh Bowie (left) and Jeff Clawson, two Tennessee men with Scottish heritage, work metal into spatulas and pot holders at their blacksmith booth on Saturday. This is the third time the two have come to Cave Spring’s Small Town Christmas in the Country.
Rachel Hall (right), a teacher at Pepperell Elementary, shows Tina Black art made by her autistic students. The money made from their art funds her classes’ field trips and school supplies.
Canned goods like these are available to sample and buy inside the Hearn Academy building in Rolater Park. Christmas in the Country will continue this afternoon from noon until 4 p.m.
Dreary weather doesn’t stop people attending or setting up booths for Saturday’s Christmas in the Country.