Throngs milled around the booths set up to catch visitors’ attention. Booths selling diet aids were set up next to food trucks selling funnel cakes, deep fried hot dogs and Oreos. Booths selling handmade crafts were alongside booths selling manufactured goods, all to the beat of country music from a band performing on a stage for the 27th annual Oxfordfest.
“Just come on in here,” beckons one vendor. “You know you want to.”
And money changes hands.
It’s all about the shopping, said Kim Williamon, as she sat down in the shade with her bag from Sweet Peas Boutique at her feet and a snow cone for her daughter Kate, 5, at her side.
“We usually come every year,” Williamon said. “Just to see all the sights.”
Margaret Barnes, who moved from Atlanta to Oxford in February, said she was glad to be able to attend the festival. She thought she would miss the fall festivals from Atlanta but loved Oxfordfest. It’s introducing her to some of the local artists, Barnes said.
“I was glad to see this,” she said.
Jackie Pettitt set up a tent selling her goat-milk lotions and soaps and homemade jellies. She raises her goats in Wedowee, but owns Weaver Flower Shop in Weaver. Pettitt likes selling at the festivals.
“Fall festivals are always fun,” she said. “You get caught up in the crowd.”
She’s sharing her tent with Frederic Gramoso, a photography student from France attending Eastern Florida State College. Gramoso, a friend of Pettitt’s son, said he came to meet people and to see a little bit more of the United States.
“The people are really nice,” Gramoso said. “The people are more open here.”
Quest Club of Oxford was selling homemade baked goods. This is the civic club’s one fundraiser a year, said Nancy Barker, Sylvia Holland, Beverly Carlisle and Martha Lipham, the members manning the booth. Their work is funded mainly by donations, but this fundraiser brings in an average of $2,000, which helps them fund an annual scholarship for an Oxford High School student, they said.
Churches also set up booths around the festival area downtown. Cornerstone Church set up for the first time this year, said Rev. Michael Cox, pastor of the church.
“We’re just out handing out little cards and giving away popcorn and just trying to be nice,” Cox said. “It’s all about the people.”
Cox said the church will be back next year, but with one year at the festival now under his belt he has learned something.
“As hot as it is, we’re going to give out some water and things like that, too,” Cox said.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.