Riverfest wraps up with record numbers
by Megan Thornton
October 04, 2012 12:48 AM | 1971 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ken and Amanda Locke stand with the second-place- winning scarecrow, ‘Mary Ole Pirate,’ during Riverfest festivities. Amanda Locke said her best friend, who lost her leg to cancer, jokingly requested the peg-legged pirate be named after her.
Ken and Amanda Locke stand with the second-place- winning scarecrow, ‘Mary Ole Pirate,’ during Riverfest festivities. Amanda Locke said her best friend, who lost her leg to cancer, jokingly requested the peg-legged pirate be named after her.
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CANTON — The largest gathering in Riverfest’s history wasn’t dampened by overcast skies and proceeds are anticipated to exceed the $62,000 raised last year, according to festival organizers.

Melissa Whatley, 2012 Riverfest chairwoman, said the funds raised by the two-day festival in Boling Park will enable the Service League of Cherokee County, the host of the event, to provide more assistance to the growing number of needy children in the community.

“Every dollar of proceeds is used to benefit these children through assistance such as the purchase of eyeglasses, payment of utility bills and college scholarships,” Whatley said.

Whatley said the heavy rain seen earlier this week held off until after Riverfest ended Sunday evening.

“While the overcast skies may have kept some folks away, we estimate between 18,000 and 20,000 adults and children — many coming from other counties and states — joined us at Riverfest this year,” Whatley said.

Those who braved the cloudy skies enjoyed the most artists, crafters, concessionaires and attractions than ever seen in Riverfest’s 28-year history.

“It was my honor to lead this year’s Riverfest, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the show and the support we saw from our patrons, exhibitors and volunteers,” Whatley said.

She also thanked all the Service League members who made this year’s event a success.

“Riverfest would be impossible without the thousands of hours of volunteer service given by the 80-plus members of the Service League each year, especially those who serve as chairwomen and vice chairwomen for the festival areas,” Whatley said.

Sherry Wallace, league president, said she was pleased the weather cooperated until the very end of the weekend, making both days enjoyable for both patrons and vendors.

Most of all, Wallace said she was proud of Whatley’s leadership and everyone who volunteered to help further the Service League’s cause.

“It’s a great satisfaction when you walk away that there’s several hundred children that we’re going to be able to say yes to their needs,” Wallace said. “It’s an awesome feeling.”

Just days after Riverfest’s end, Whatley said the league is already planning for Riverfest 2013 and encourages anyone looking to support the group’s cause to join in on other upcoming events.

Whatley said league members are already taking orders for Sally Foster wrapping paper and will continue to sell the Service League Cookbook all year long.

Information about these fundraisers and other Service League of Cherokee County events can be seen on the group’s website at www.serviceleague.net.
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