CLAYTON — Rain lurked in the clouds above the Harvest Festival on Saturday, but it never fell, and the crowds weren’t scared away.
Families with children descended on Main Street, where vendors offered everything from handcut granite cutting boards to brightly colored paintings.
Elsewhere on Main Street, dancers performed on stage at Town Square while car enthusiasts admired antique and classic vehicles at a car show.
The annual Harvest Festival is like a miniature state fair, with carnival rides for kids and a feast of fried food for finger licking.
Robert Reid moved to Clayton just two months ago. He hadn’t heard of the Harvest Festival, but he drove past Main Street Saturday morning and decided to see what the crowds were all about.
“This is one of the best car shows I’ve seen,” Reid said, adding that the Clayton show held its own against other shows he’s seen, including one in Reno, Nev.
Charles Marcom, president of the Clayton Rotary Club, handed out fliers at the festival for the club’s upcoming Wine Festival. He said this year’s turnout was impressive.
“It’s one of the biggest year’s we’ve had for the festival,” Marcom said.
This year’s festival placed more emphasis on music. Bands played throughout the day on Town Square as shoppers perused the nearby vendors.
Friday Night brought the Clayton Idol competition, the same competition where Scotty McCreery performed before making the big time.
Paul Holliday sold his wares for the first time at this year’s festival. He and his wife make handcut granite cutting boards they carve with a heavy hammer and chisel.
Holliday said he attended the festival in years past as a guest and was inspired to start selling his wares here.
Business was going well for him on Saturday afternoon. “I’ve sold more at this point than I thought I would,” he said.
Tammy Sroka and Chris Takoch bought one of the granite slabs and said they planned to give it as a birthday gift.
“We come every year, and I love seeing what the vendors have,” Sroka said.
The festival has about outgrown itself, according to Mary Beth Roberti, director of special events for the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, the festival’s sponsor.
In the future, the chamber might have to put a limit on the number of vendors so it can stay on Main Street, Roberti said.