By Jean Clark
Probably close to 500 people dodged the raindrops at the second annual Pleasant Hill Spring Festival. Fortunately, there were plenty of inside activities for children and adults to do when the skies opened up. When the sun shone, they headed outside for the carnival games and exhibits. At least 350 meals were served free, thanks to donations from sponsors like Flowers Bakery, Linda’s Coffee Shop, Food City, United Grocery Outlet, Coca-Cola, Petro’s Chili and Chips and Kroger. Jackie Dwenger headed up the food team, with the great assistance of the Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Department cooking up the hot dogs and hamburgers.
Maggie Bernabei, daughter of the assistant principal of Pleasant Hill School, Darci Bernabei, officially opened the festival by singing the "Star Spangled Banner." Mayor Al Dwenger welcomed everyone and introduced local dignitaries. Several singers and groups entertained all day long keeping dry on the portable stage constructed by Ziggy Sampfli and friends. The audience was able to enjoy the music any time as the seats provided by The Garden stayed dry under the canopy provided by Uplands Village, which also distributed water and toy airplanes. Monica and Ray Henson of The Garden organized and emceed the musical numbers, as well as the cakewalk music, and announced door prizes. Neighbors Together supplied homemade cakes and cookies for the cakewalk.
Most popular with the children were the train rides engineered by Joe Gittings on his antique tractor. Inside the Pleasant Hill Community House, more than 100 children practiced sewing, origami, playing dulcimer, painting, crafts, story writing or had their portrait drawn. Sharron Eckert gathered the very talented Pleasant Hill artists for these activities. Outside there were carnival games such as corn hole and mini golf, with lots of free popcorn to enjoy. Judy and her monkey, Pixie, roamed the grounds dispensing animal lore to the delight of all. Jeanne Chappell-Kingsbury directed the many volunteers who helped with all activities.
The exhibitors tried to stay dry and cheerful providing advice, literature, sugar and blood testing, prizes and even worms. Much appreciation is extended from the town folks to Cumberland Habitat Conservation, UT/TSU Extension, Madaris Siding and Windows, Cumberland Medical Center, Rural Health Clinic, the Sheriff's Department, Girl Scout Troop 2907, EMT, Tom Schroeder with his ham radio, Don Inglis with his composting worms, Rebecca Kilmer and Hugh Thomforde for leading the drum circle dances and recycling information table.
Classic cars drew the admiration of the adults. Several Wharton Homes’ residents, most in wheel chairs, were brought to the festival by willing volunteers. Boy Scout Troop 170 members were much in evidence as they helped set up, take down, volunteered and be willing participants. A bounce house, other expenses and the many door prizes were made possible by other sponsors such as the Town of Pleasant Hill, Ziggy’s Tubes and Wires, Kmart, Vegas Steakhouse, Brown Insurance, SavMart Rugs, Volunteer Title, Mountain Farm International, Bargain Beds, Farmers Co-op, Stonehaus Winery, Shaddens, Chuckles, and Jan’s Wine and Liquor.
Volunteer Energy Cooperative has given a $500 grant to the town of Pleasant Hill, which was deposited in the coffers for next year’s Pleasant Hill Spring Festival. In spite of the looming thunder clouds that ended the festival a little early, everyone agrees that this was an event well worth doing again. What a great way to get the different age groups in this Pleasant Hill area together sharing lots of fun and camaraderie.
The Grab thrift shop at 1944 West Main St. in Pleasant Hill will hold its monthly $1 per bag sale Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fletcher House in Pleasant Hill is sponsoring a Veterans’ Program and Pinning Ceremony Tuesday, July 9, at 6 p.m. in Adshead Hall. A program will be presented by Alan Kirby, of the American Association for Wartime Veterans. He will provide information concerning the aid and attendance benefits for wartime veterans, dependents and surviving spouses. There will also be a pinning ceremony. In order to provide names and information for the ceremony, local area veterans or survivors should RSVP to Kellie or Deb at 277-3523 or email email@example.com.