ELLERBE — The Mineral Springs Improvement Council wants to lead visitors down the garden path during this year’s Mayfest celebration, but there’s no deception involved in the May 5 event — only delight.
The recent beneficiary of a $9,000 grant, the council is about to plot and plant a 2½-acre garden off Green Lake Road. Sales of the vegetables and other produce grown there will help it finance its after-school and summer enrichment programs, as the proceeds from Mayfest always have done.
“We hope to finish (planting) by May 5,” council secretary and program coordinator Barbara Moton said Thursday. Work is set to begin next week, after workers lay down plastic sheeting, spread the soil and get down and dirty.
Davon Goodwin of the Sandhills AGInnovation Center is in charge of the layout of the garden, which ultimately should include row crops, grape arbors and blueberry bushes.
The council hopes to link a walking trail planned for the outside edge of the garden to the Daily Mile trail at Mineral Springs Elementary School, Moton said, giving the community an extended path to health.
Mayfest again will stress healthy living, Moton said. Aside from the rhythm & blues stylings of Ray Charles Lindsay of Ellerbe, the day will include a 5K fun run/walk and cooking demonstrations.
Through its food bank and food donations to seniors, Moton said, the council has found that people eschew healthy options for less-healthy items they’re familiar with.
So, at the festival, “we’re going to show them how to make delicious meatballs” from ground turkey instead of beef, she said.
The day also will include free bingo and what promises to be as popular an attraction as it was during the fifth festival: a dunking booth featuring Sheriff James Clemmons.
Children’s activities will abound, as will food vendors.
While ribs have been a tradition at Ellerbe’s Mayfest, organizers plan to encourage festivalgoers to make healthier choices, including hosting a 5k run/walk.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]