Buggy Fest on Tap This Weekend
The Carthage Buggy Festival, traditionally held on Mother's Day weekend, gets under way Friday evening at Nancy Kiser Park with entertainment, music, food and more.
It will also include an informal drive-in/drive-out gathering displaying classic cars and fire engines.
While a competitive classic car show in the downtown area has been part of the festival for most of its 22 years, a more informal gathering of hot rods, old Chevys, Model A's, Model T's and other old autos begins the night before when owners park their precious velocipedes around the Carthage Historical Museum in the corner of the park.
This year, lovingly restored old cars will be joined by hook-and-ladder trucks, pumpers and antique fire engines - always a favorite with youngsters - since the Carthage Firefighters Association will be hosting this "first night of the festival" firetruck and car show.
Members of the town's volunteer fire department are doing double-duty that afternoon. They will be donning aprons as cooks stage-side near the park picnic shelter. Firefighters will light fires for a change, manning grills and hovering fire-side to flip burgers and grill hot dogs and pour ice-cold drinks. It's all a fundraiser for the fire department.
A big hit from last year is returning to take the stage for a 2010 festival Friday show. In the park's outdoor Lapping Amphitheater, young performers, members of the Temple Teens from Sanford's Temple Theatre, will entertain the crowd starting at 5 p.m.
The fun continues on Satur-day, from a downtown platform full of music and streets filled with vendors of all sorts pouring into town at the break of day.
Peddlers of everything from homemade crafts, antiques, jewelry, pottery, plants, metal signs and wind chimes and suppliers of good things to eat will begin to fill the downtown streets of Carthage at 6 a.m. Saturday.
Festival vendors tend to be early arrivers, with experienced hands getting to the downtown streets even before the first rays of the morning sun strike the eastern face of the old Carthage Courthouse.
Some of them have been part of the Buggy Festival since the beginning. But every year always brings some new vendors. The growing popularity of this event fills every available space up and down the midtown streets, usually weeks before festival weekend.
Other early arrivals include ride operators, who set up their hardware in the children's area, where all rides are free. The Carthage Buggy Festival itself is entirely free, and there is never a charge for kids on rides. The only ride charge is $2 for sightseeing buggy rides offered at the Presbyterian Church parking lot between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Parking for handicapped is provided at the Fidelity Bank lot, with Gator and golf cart transportation to the central area of the festival.
The day officially begins at 9 a.m., heralded by the Marine Corps Drill Team and the Union Pines High School Band. After a welcome and opening remarks, the Courthouse Square 2010 Buggy Festival show is on with the Teen Challenge Band to be followed by The Whisnets.
Vendors open their booths and the children's activity area cranks up in a special section.
At noon, Miss Moore County crowns Ms./Mr. Buggy Festival, Mr. and Ms. Pine Lake and Mr. and Ms. Tara Plantation. Quick Silver Cloggers clomp the stage at 12:30 p.m., followed by music from Mitzi Brooks at 1 p.m., Blue Horizon at 2 p.m. and a return by The Whisnets at 3 p.m.
There are changes every year. There will be no street dance this time around, and The Arc of Moore County will not be holding its Friday all-night barbecue cook-off. The Buggy Festival Committee hopes people will continue to support this organization, which helped to spur an earlier launch of the festival.
The street dance of years past has been supplanted by the entertainment of the festival's new final event at 4:30 p.m. - the seventh annual Buggy Festival Idol Contest, which brings the 2010 festival to its climactic close.
Contact John Chappell by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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