IL Fall Festival 'better every year'

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2-day event jam-packed with music, activities

By Chris McGinn

The Indian Land Fall Festival entertained thousands of visitors at its 13th annual event this weekend.
Featuring dozens of performers, hundreds of vendors and many festival rides and activities, the event was the largest to date. There were three main areas at the Indian Land schools complex, using the student parking lot, training field and stadium.
For the first time ever, the festival was extended to two days and, fortunately, beautiful weather graced both days after a soppy set-up Friday night.
“Building on last year’s success, we made improvements, adding more music, rides and fireworks,” said Mike Neese, festival organizer. “We were proud to offer attendees a great experience and look forward to good things moving forward.”
The largest crowds were on Saturday with a steady flow of visitors taking trackless train or Ferris wheel rides, listening to a variety of live music or shopping through the vendor area. From Christmas wreaths and soaps to new window systems and insurance agents, attendees had an overwhelming number of options of things to peruse and buy.
Many of the vendors were participating in their very first show, including Ruth Hong, 19, of The Quilted Rose. Hong said she has been quilting since 13 after participating in a sewing guild.
Lynn Malcom with UniQuely D’Zigned and her mother, True, of “True” Designs were also first-time festival vendors. Featuring a variety of abstract art, woodwork and jewelry, their booth welcomed many visitors.
“It was great meeting people,” she said. “We want everyone who purchases or visits our booth to be blessed.”
Pam Dudley, owner of Funnel Cakes by Pam, has been a regular festival-goer for the past 22 years. Dudley said she had a lot of success with her delicious treats near the children’s inflatable activities.
A Touch of Grace owner Randi Doan said that she wanted to attend to sell her women’s clothing there after hearing from others about how large the festival was and that it was fun.
“The weather was beautiful, the vendors were nice and I liked there were so many things happening,” she said.
Tim Cope of Best Rate Plumbing said he enjoyed seeing all the guests and met people from Kannapolis, N.C., Rock Hill and Chester and more locations beyond Indian Land itself.
Food lovers had plenty of options with more than 30 food truck vendors on site. Barbecue, funnel cakes, shaved ice, seafood, hamburgers and more satisfied every appetite.
“I enjoyed the variety of food and all the local businesses and charities getting their name out,” said Wayne Craig, who attended both days.
On Saturday, visitors could also visit the VFW Honoring Our Heroes Car Show. More than 30 vehicles participated in the show. Winners included Ron Kintz, who won Best Car in Show for his 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix; Fred Gillespie, Best Engine Trophy for his 1970 Ford Mustang; and Alan Crane, Best Paint for his 1965 Pontiac GTO.
The entertainment on the Comporium Main Stage and Reservation Stage ranged from bluegrass to belly dancing. Performers of all types drew crowds throughout the day to sit on hay bales and take in the show.
The highlight of Saturday for those who remained until the sun went down were the concert by 20Ride, a Zac Brown tribute band, capped by an 8-minute fireworks display sponsored by Sharonview Federal Credit Union.
The festival ended with an amazing a cappella performance by Transit Vocal Band from Raleigh.
“The Indian Land Fall Festival gets better every year,” Bonnie Lang said. “It is very well put together and it is obvious a lot of work goes into it.
“Even though we are not an official town, events like this brings the community together and makes it feel like a real town and we love that,” she said.
For more information about the event, visit www.indianlandfallfest.com.