ELLERBE — Before the summer heat wave hits, festival organizers will bring the community together for family fun and education.
This year’s Mayfest, which will take place on Saturday for its fifth consecutive year, plans to provide visitors with entertainment and information about healthy eating and exercise habits.
The festival will begin with a 5K race at 8:30 a.m., with registration starting at 8 a.m. at 122 Railroad St. in Ellerbe. Mayfest officially will start after the race at 10 a.m. and will run until 4 p.m.
The festival is an annual fundraiser for the Mineral Springs Improvement Council to support its after-school and summer enrichment programs. This year the council also is planing to use funds to provide fresh produce for people who can’t afford it on a weekly basis, said Barbra Moton, MSIC event coordinator.
Mayfest attracted 500 visitors last year, and Moton hopes the addition of more entertainment and learning opportunities will attract double the number of visitors this year.
“This year we are starting a walking program to encourage exercise, and we will teach people about eating healthier,” Moton said.
“We have been able to bring in different vendors and more people to plan, which I think will make it more exciting,” Moton said. “I think the trackless train, bouncy house, and a few different activities that will be free to participate in will be this year’s crowd favorites.”
The springtime festival also will feature numerous food vendors, including a smoothie booth and collard sandwich sales; snack options Moton believes to be healthier than most festival foods.
“It is okay to have unhealthy snacks sometimes, but not every day,” she said
Moton believes it is important to provide better eating options at the event because they are teaching visitors about proper diets.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171