With only a week remaining to the start of the fourth annual Vaiden Heritage Festival, things are shaping up well, and according to Vaiden Mayor Mel Hawthorne, interest in vendor booth space and activities is coming from all over.
"Vaiden, the rest of Carroll County, Winona and Montgomery County -- they're all interested," Hawthorne said. "West and Holmes County have shown a lot of interest."
This year's Heritage Festival is set for October 19 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will be held on Lee Street, from the Vaiden Library to the intersection of Magnolia Street.
Hawthorne said only a few booth spaces remain, and he expects those to be gone prior to the start of the event.
"We have around 40 vendors; they are leaving Directors member Pam Lee said. "We had a lot of people here, and the vendors did very well. On a scale of one to ten, I give this year's event a ten."
According to Lee, Mississippi visitors came from as far north as DeSoto County, as far south as Covington County, as far west as Greenville, and as far east as Starkville.
"Out-of-state visitors came from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana," Lee said. "[Home tour] ticket sales are estimated at 120, but the register at the Merrill Museum listed 275 people."
Lee said the Genealogy Expo spent the day helping 24 families find their Carroll County roots -- roots which have stretched out to places like Hinds County and Lafayette, La.
"The Old Jail also saw its share of visitors," Lee said. "At one point, Clint Littleton, a son and grandson of jailers, hosted the granddaughter of a former sheriff and our current sheriff, Jerry Carver."
Across the bridge in North Carrollton, Jenifer Houston, who headed the Big Sand Creek Festival, said excitement poured over into her neighboring town. Houston said as expected, the Great Big Sand Creek Rubber Ducky Race was one of the most exciting parts of the day.
Patrons purchased ducks for the race in the Big Sand Creek, and at the finish line, it was Houston who was at the creek bottom.
"I was amazed at the bottom of the creek to see so many people line the bridge," Houston said. "We had a lot of people in town."
Houston said the movie night at the Tabernacle was also a big event where people enjoyed the 1969 movie, "The Reivers," which was shot in Carroll County.
"We had a comfortable weekend," Houston said. "The Marshall Elementary Praise Team attracted a lot of people, and the pet parade was a success."
At the event's end, music was the treat in Old Town.
Lee said the music on the Square was a hit again this year. The J. Z. George High School Band and Choctaw drummers began the day, followed by the North Mississippi Dulcimers and The Good Time Express during the day, and rounding out the evening, was Benny Rigby, Lisa McNamara and Mack Allen Smith. Lee thanked Terry Herbert for his work lining up the musical entertainment.
"Vendors at the Pioneer Day Festival gave the event high marks, and so did the many shoppers who carted away wonderful gifts and things for their homes and families," Lee said. "There were also events for the children, which were fun for the adults to watch."
Lee wished to thank everyone for helping putting the Pilgrimage together.
"I appreciate the work that everyone did to get the town ready for visitors, and those who welcomed visitors and made them feel so welcome this weekend," Lee said. "According to visitors who came back by the headquarters, Carrollton is a special place--one they want to come back to again."