The Harvest Festival had rides for all ages, including this dragon roller coaster.
CLAYTON -- Downtown Clayton was abuzz last week with a host of activities to choose from as the Harvest Festival overlapped with the last Clayton Town Square Concert series show and the annual Art Faire at the Clayton Center.
Nantucket’s chords vibrated down Main Street, and squeals could be heard from the children’s dragon roller coaster, while the odors of funnel cake and barbecue comingled in the air.
From Wednesday through Sunday, Clayton residents enjoyed the annual Harvest Festival, complete with rides, fair food, music, a vendor fair, a car show and even a gospel sing.
As festival co-chair James Lipscomb wandered among the rides Thursday night, he seemed pleased with the weekend’s promising weather and the steady crowds that were showing up to have a good time even on a week night.
Looking out over a crowd of young families pushing strollers and keeping up with toddlers running to get in line at the merry go-round or the Dizzy Dragon, Lipscomb said his favorite part of the festival was watching everyone have fun. “I’m most looking forward to the kids and seeing them enjoying it,” he said.
Sarah Maricle sat down with her three children to enjoy some french fries and hot dogs before they embarked on some of the rides. After moving to Clayton in February from Peoria, Ill., Maricle and her children, ages 3 to 11, were enjoying their first Harvest Festival.
“We’ve been hearing such wonderful things about it we wanted to check it out,” Maricle said. As they finished their dinner, Maricle said they were waiting on her husband to get off work so they could ride the rides.
“He said not to do the rides without him,” she said.
Over at the Dizzy Dragon, Nikita Spears took photos of her husband and 3-year-old son spinning on a dragon-themed teacup ride. Spears said she and her husband chose to come out Thursday night to avoid the crowds they encountered at last year’s festival on Saturday.
Spears said the festival is perfect for her son because the rides, like the miniature train and the motorcycles, are geared toward younger kids. It’s easier to go to the Harvest Festival than to brave the N.C. State Fair, she said.
“It’s just perfect for some family time,” she said.
As much as folks were enjoying themselves, Lipscomb said he’s already thinking of ways to make the festival even better next year.