The following article is of the very first Ramseur Fall Festival and is taken from the Ramseur Bulletin on Wednesday, October 25th, 1989.
Merchant Pleased with First Effort: Festival Crowd Likes The Main Event
Main Street put its best foot forward and came away a winner last Saturday as the first Ramseur Fall Festival was judged by visitors and vendors a huge success.
“It was a great day and I really enjoyed it,” said Grady Lawson, whose Eastern Randolph Boosters booth sold completely out of barbeque by 1:00 pm, underestimating the turnout for the festival.
Close to 7,000 visitors spent the day on Main Street despite chilly temperatures and a blustery wind that kept the crowd in the sun most of the morning. Many of the vendors who had set up booths by 6:00 am were most effected by the cold.
“I’ve been selling gloves and toboggans all morning,” said H. D. Gooch,ownerofGooch’s on Main Street. “This has been the best day I’ve had all year.”
Many other Main Street merchants had booths in front of their stores. Wayne Stutts and wife Darius, owners of Brady’s Appliance, sold funnel cakes all day and couldn’t keep up with the demand.
“I haven’t sold much in the store today, Stutts said, “but that wasn’t the purpose of the festival anyway; lt was to create interest in and get people downtown and it has surely done that.”
Stutts added that he plans to get a bigger cooker so that he can cook more funnel cakes for the crowd next year.
Main Street was crowded by 10:00 am when Mayor June Beane welcomed everyone and formally dedicated the Ramseur Community Building. Mayor Beane noted that Ramseur had needed such a facility for some time and that the converted bank building was ideally located to serve the whole community.
“We hope the building will be a place of laughter, beauty and friendship throughout the year,” Beane said, “and I invite you to take a look.”
Many people were already taking a look and the flow of visitors through the building was steady all day. Ramseur industries had set up exhibits of locally made products in the refurbished bank lobby and everyone seemed impressed.
“They’ve really done a nice job with it,” said G. W. Allen, who worked in the building for many years when the Bank of Coleridge was located there. “I really like it.”
The John Plant Company, manufacturers of industrial gloves, gave gloves to visitors at their booth. The chilly morning temperatures made the gloves a popular item.
The Weiman Co. held a drawing at 2:30 pm for a table made at the Ramseur plant, and announced the winner, Laurie Spangler of Ramseur.
Ramseur’s ambassador of good will, Taft Kivett, spent all day giving away pennies and smiles at his booth in front of the Ramseur Mercantile.
“I don’t want you to go home broke,” Kivett would tell everyone as he placed a penny in their palm. He always added, “don’t spend it all in one place.”
Kivett estimates he gave away between 1,700 and 2,000 pennies during the day. His daughter Naomi and her husband, Tommy Cranford, from Asheboro gave away 500 balloons to children at the same booth.
Churches and civic organizations that had booths reported that sales of food items, especially home made baked goods were excellent. Craft sales were not quite as good, but the volume of lookers was good throughout the day.
Cheryl Routh of the Happy Hills Animal Foundation was pleased with the number of people that came by her booth and indicated, as most vendors did that she would be back next year.
“You really couldn’t ask for the crowd to be any better,” Routh said.
Many visitors noted how neat and clean everything was along Main and Liberty streets, where at 5:00 pm there was very little trash after the day’s activities.
Main Street Merchants Association President Tim Cox, who spent the day taking care of the logistics of the event said everything ran smoothly with the exception of some minor electrical problems.
“The electrical drops we had to some booths couldn’t handle the loads, such as coffee pots, deep fryers and things like that,” Cox said, “so we had to get power from some of the stores along the street. Next year we’ll estimate the load a little better.”
Cox was pleased with the turnout for the festival and stressed there would be a festival next year since this one had gone so well.
A steady stream of visitors filed through the Ramseur Historical Museum all day, many for their first look at items relative to Ramseur history. Scouts from Troop 508 greeted the visitors and gave information about the museum.
The Ramseur Public Library sold every available copy of the Ramseur 40’s Video and is making plans to reorder. The videotape which shows life on Ramseur streets in 1940 sells for $15 and proceeds go to the library.
A waiting list has been started for the second order of tapes and anyone wanting a copy should call the Ramseur Public Library or Mrs. H. M. Kivett. The deadline for ordering a tape is Nov. 10th.
Word of the festival had apparent! y spread to far beyond the local area. One caller to the Ramseur Bulletin left a name and number on the answering machine saying she had heard Ramseur was having a festival but needed directions because she didn’t know where Ramseur was located.
Main Street Merchants are hoping that based on the success of the festival, it will become an annual event and help to promote the town and its location far and wide.