Free State of Patrick Festival on Saturday

First Posted: 4/20/2009

ARARAT, Va.Fourteen Authors, four historical displays and 20 local vendors will make up the Free State of Patrick Festival Saturday.
The event, which is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ararat, Va., Ruritan Building, is the brainchild of author and historian Tom Perry, who said he wanted to develop an opportunity for the community to band together for books, fellowship and history. The event is sponsored by Pages Bookstore in Mount Airy.
The cost of admission and to park is free, and proceeds from the food concessions will go toward the Dan River Park to help it create a walking trail.
This is the first year, said Perry, an Ararat, Va., native who is the author of eight books, with five of them centered around Patrick County. Members of the Ruritan Club had noted that many communities in Patrick County had festivals such as the Covered Bridge Festival in Woolwine and there are a couple each year in Meadows of Dan, so I decided to give it a shot. The theme is books, community (and) history.
Perry said he wanted to do something to support the community he grew up in and promote authors and historical organizations whose mission he supports.
The festival will present regional authors and historical organizations while the local vendors focusing on the Dan River District of Patrick County will be set up outside to sell their crafts, wares or promote their business or organization.
There will be displays from the Bassett, Va., Historical Center, Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, The Mount Airy and Eastern Railroad, and the J.E.B. Stuart birthplace will be shown.
The food concessions inside the building will be run by the Dan River Park with all proceeds going to that organization as it continues to build an athletic facility in Ararat, Va., beside Blue Ridge Elementary School and its walking trail.
The food concessions are run by the park and each vendor is asked to contribute to the effort. The park is working on a walking trail that I hope to write historical interpretive signs for. There are soccer and baseball fields already constructed, he said.
This is an opportunity for vendors, businesses and other groups to be seen in public. Trying to bring the community together for one day is important to me. I am providing the site, organizing it and promoting it. All the advertising is courtesy me or my publisher, Arcadia Publishing.
Perry said people should take advantage of the free event and its variety of books and crafts for sale.
(Its) free admission, free parking (but) you have to pay for the books, he said. We have Frank Levering, Joe Tennis, and myself among the 14 authors. We have cookbooks, childrens books, novels, religion and history books. We have Ararat Community Watch, (the) fire department, Doe Run Farm, which runs a corn maze every fall. (We have) artists, church groups, and just folks who make crafts to sell.
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Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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