For a festival that wasn’t supposed to happen, it sure came out well.
The 29th annual Carrabelle Riverfront Festival, slated to be cancelled last month after a dearth of vendors signed up for the April 27 event, turned out to be a sun-drenched affair, with a steady crowd all day long on Saturday.
Spearheaded by the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce, led by Lewis Christie, the board veep, and Lisa Munson, chamber director, the festival offered vendor space for free and plenty of local groups, over 40, signed up.
All afternoon long, Mr. John’s Party Train chugged the little kids all up and own Marine Street. The “Naked Water Band” performed on the Marine Street stage, followed later by Dylan RP Allen and “The Free Wheelin Band.” Nearby, children frolicked on the bounce house on loan from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
And of course, the traditional highlight of the festival, Joan Matey’s Fishy Fashion Show was on full display, an environmental protection-themed comedy show that features outfits made from the sort of avoidable debris and detritus that all too often fouls our otherwise pristine waters.
Taking part this year were the Shoreline Sheriff (Dan Cox), Clamity Jane (Kathleen Oman), Saint Theresa Beach (Geri Mueller Savell), Saint George the Lionfish Slayer (Rodney Reeves), Cabana Gal (Marjorie Critch), The Duchess of Dog Island (Judy Loftus), Bivalvia Mollusca and her trained Scallop (Sally Crown), Defender of the Deep (Skip Frink), The Crabbin' Belle (Jennifer Bowers) and Sou Venir (Lesley Cox).
In addition to plenty of support from local donors, the Tourist Development Council provided the festival with $2,000 in reimbursement for advertising.
“I cannot express how happy I was to see the festival stay alive and run so very well,” said TDC Director John Solomon, who was on hand for the day’s event. “The community support was outstanding and many people attended from out of town. A pure mark of a success.”