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SP festival celebrates 9th year

By Phyllis Noah/The Ironton Tribune

SOUTH POINT — Nine years ago, partners Ivan Smith and Bill Enyart, both of South Point, decided to have food and music on some land they own off Sand Road behind the new South Point schools.

“We started out kind of small and I think the first year was just a meal,” Smith said. “We just had people bring in food and set up a table out here and just had a big dinner and had some live music.”

Then the sorghum making was added, then the honey and the apple butter.

“It just kept growing every year,” he said.

Saturday, at the 9th Annual Sorghum/Bluegrass Festival, food concessions were busy with several hundred people stopping by to taste the fare.

Entertainment Saturday included the Stillwater Band, Lincoln County Cloggers, Bobby Maynard and the Breakdown, a traditional bluegrass group from Louisa, Ky., the Hazel Hollow Girls and even Elvis wandered through the crowds of people.

“It’s just a community thing, we want people to have fun,” Smith said.

The event was free to the public with donations accepted to help cover the costs of the bands.

Wagon rides and free shuttle rides from the parking lot were also available throughout the day.

“We enjoy doing it,” Enyart said. “It’s just a good community thing to bring the people together. We try to keep it low budget. We’re not here to make money, we’re here for the people to have some good family-oriented fun and that’s what it’s all about.”

Dan Fulks, of Chesapeake, cooked 30 pounds of beans for the event and sold out. He cooked two large iron kettles over an open wood fire.

“I put the dry beans in the pot this morning about 7 (a.m.),” Fulks said. “I put one on at seven and about 9 to 9:30 (a.m.), I put the other pot on.”

His wife, Rena, makes cornbread to go with the beans.

They go to several festivals each year serving the beans and cornbread. At the Oktoberfest in Chesapeake last year they cooked 50 pounds of beans.

They cooked an estimated 700 pounds of beans the first year they began working at festivals nine years ago.

“What we kind of count on is five people per pound,” Fulks said.

Clara Spurling, of the South Point Eastern Star Chapter, was serving up jars of fresh homemade apple butter cooked in a big copper kettle outside.

“They started at 6 (a.m.) this morning,” she said. “We just use the apple, cinnamon oil and if it’s regular we put sugar in it. If it’s sugar free, we don’t use sugar. We do this every year.”

They have been making apple butter for more than 25 years and will be going to Bob Evans Farms Festival in October.

“There are others with the same organization who preceded us that did it before we started,” Spurling said. “So, we’ve done a lot of apples.”