The City of Hamlet is gearing up for the 30th annual Seaboard Festival, which kicks off at 9 a.m. on Oct. 27 in downtown Hamlet. This year’s festival promises a celebration of the future coupled with the remembrance of a rich community heritage.
Incoming president Marissa Grooms said she volunteered for the position because she wanted to help make the festival better.
Among the new additions this year will be a vendor that allows children to mine for gems.
“We are also going to have new loader cars — small railroad cars from the Red Springs and Northern Foundation — that go on the train tracks,” Grooms said. “They’re going to be on display in the parking lot between the Tornado building and Birmingham Drug.”
The festival spans from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature food from local churches and vendors and live entertainment throughout the day.
Visitors can expect craft demonstrations, model train exhibits, children’s activities and arts and craft vendors.
“It’s really a little bit of everything,” Grooms said. “We have the stage set up at the top of the street and there will be entertainment all day long, either a DJ or a live group singing. At the bottom of the street in the bandstand area, we’ll have the same thing. We’ll also have dance groups in the afternoon.”
The historic Hamlet Depot will be open during the day for tours, and the notorious Conductor’s Call contest will be held at 2 p.m. by the Depot. The Tornado building will also open its doors to the public.
“This year we’re actually going to have Amtrak sending four train cars to be on the track for people to walk through all day long,” Grooms said.
Old-timers and youngsters alike can enjoy a vintage car show with trophies awarded at 3 p.m. Registration is $20 per car or $10 per car with multiple cars. For more information on the car show, call 910-995-6708.
“On the library lawn, we’ll have crafters like basket weavers, spinners, blacksmiths, soap maker, a quilter and some of those older-style hand crafts,” Grooms said.
A bounce house will also be available for children on the library lawn.
An opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. in front of the post office.
“New this year, folks will be able to see a large blow up map at the information booth, located at the intersection of Raleigh and Main Street.”
Nancy Averitt, previous president and current treasurer, said a 5k will also take place at 8 a.m. before the festival.
“We’ve been having the race for at least 20 years,” Averitt said. “That morning at 8, people can meet at Calvary Baptist Church … There are close to 100 runners, but it’s also a walk if anybody wants to walk.”
Each year, Averitt said, funds raised are given back to different areas of the community.
“We have given close to $30,000 to the Depot Museum,” she said. “We have made a lot of contributions to the theater. We try to give every year to the Humane Society and Back Pack Pals … We usually have about $10,000 to give away.”
With the exception of service animals, the festival committee asks that visitors leave their pets at home in consideration of others.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.