“He’s been wanting a balloon ever since he saw the balloon man,” Christi Houston said of her 4-year-old son.
The Houstons, of Oxford, were just a few among the thousands of people who turned out for the annual Noble Street Festival today. Predicted thunderstorms never materialized, leaving visitors to enjoy the festivities along with the Sunny King Criterium cycling races, which took place in downtown Anniston throughout the day.
The festival included live music, vendors and popular food booths set up by local restaurants, including Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack in Jacksonville, Anthony’s Mexican Restaurant in Anniston, Classic on Noble and Garfrerick’s Café in Oxford. There was also a children’s section, complete with carnival-style rides and even a human-sized robot that rolled around and talked to kids.
Houston said Saturday was the second time she and her family had attended the festival.
“It’s great … I just love the family atmosphere,” Houston said.
However, Saturday was the first time Butch Clifton had come to the event. Clifton, of Gadsden, was occupied devouring a ribeye steak sandwich from the Classic on Noble this afternoon.
“This ribeye sandwich is delicious,” Clifton said.
Clifton said he grew up in Anniston. He said it was great there was such a large event here for everyone to enjoy.
“I think it’s fantastic and I think it’s great that it’s getting people together,” Clifton said. “They knocked it out of the park.”
For Leslie Caddington and her six-year-old daughter Hailey, Saturday was their second time to enjoy the festival. A resident of Arkansas, Caddington has friends in Gainesville, Ga. and the group started meeting each other halfway in Anniston last year.
“This is awesome,” Caddington said of the festival, noting that her daughter had already enjoyed several of the rides.
Caddington added that she would be staying the whole weekend because her husband will participate in the Cheaha Challenge cycling event in Piedmont Sunday.
“We’re just going to hang out all day and watch the Criterium and then watch my husband ride,” he said.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star