Sept. 18, 2012 — Perfect weather and additional food and art vendors apparently made Saturday’s Morehead Arts and Eats Festival even more successful than the first effort in 2011.
“We couldn’t have asked for better weather and attendance for this year’s festival,” said Joy Brown, acting executive director of the Morehead Tourism Commission. “I am extremely pleased with the entire event and look forward to next year.”
She reported that festival-goers purchased $17,666 worth of tickets that could be exchanged for food items at the event along several blocks of East Main Street and one block of Bridge Street.
Brown said the exact total going to this year’s two designated charities – Rowan County Christmas and Christian Social Services – can’t be determined until all of the food-related vendors decide if they want to keep any of their ticket income.
“As was the case last year, many of the vendors already have told us to add their share to the charity pool,” she added.
Brown estimated that as much as $11,000 could be shared by the two charities. Last year’s figure was $9,000.
Morehead Mayor David Perkins, a food judge at the festival, described the event as a “homerun” for the community.
Tracy Williams, executive director of the Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, called the festival a “wonderful day”.
“The visitors, vendors, volunteers and weather exceeded all of our expectations,” she said. “We have had great feedback from the community and hope the festival will grow each year so that we will be able to give even more to local charitable organizations.”
Angela Traver, director of the Rowan County Arts Center (RCAC), described it this way:
"We are thrilled with the turnout at the festival. We had more than 150 children pass through our activity tent to do a variety of different art projects. It is wonderful to be able to show folks the talent we have in our community and to encourage them to participate."
“We don’t have all of our figures compiled but it appears the arts portion was considerably larger than last year.”
Anita Rummage, RCAC board chair, said of the day:
“The Rowan County Arts Center is very grateful for the many volunteers and artists who helped us provide a lawn full of activities and games.”
Rummage predicted that RCAC would have more than $2,500 in net income from the festival.
In addition to youth activities, the RCAC vendor area on Old Courthouse Square included many artists selling their works.
Morehead Police Chief Mike Adams, a self-taught painter who works in acrylics and oils, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the turnout and by the number of pieces he sold at his booth.
“This event is a great idea and something we missed here for several years,” he said. “Fall is the best time of the year for outdoor festivals.”
Four prizes were awarded to food vendors, including Best Soup or Stew – Pasquale’s for red beans and rice; Best Entrée – A. Baldwin and Associates for BBQ chicken; Best Dessert – St. Claire Regional Medical Center for fresh fruit with caramel, chocolate sauces and candied nuts;
Best Decorated Food Booth – Morehead State Public Radio for its Hawaiian theme.
Sherrie Chapman of Steve Barker State Farm Insurance said more than 250 students went through the agency’s safe driving activity during the festival.
“We were pleased with the event and consider it a huge success,” she said.
Live music was featured throughout the day, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Morehead Arts and Eats Festival is jointly sponsored by the tourism commission, RCAC and the chamber of commerce.