BLADENBORO — The recipe couldn’t have been more perfect for the 2015 Bladenboro Beast Fest on Saturday: Perfect weather, good entertainment, plenty of vendors and no shortage of fun. The result was one of the biggest crowds in the nine years of the town’s legendary festival.
“It’s a record-breaking day for us in many ways,” said Berry Lewis, one of the event’s long-time organizers. “It’s an amazing crowd, awesome day and tremendous festival.”
Lewis said the event attracted 114 vendors, the most ever for the Beast Fest. In addition, the car show brought in classic cars and trucks from New York, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina.
“We (the committee) couldn’t be more ecstatic with the this day,” Lewis said.
As always a huge crowd packed around the entertainment stage throughout the day, as WKML’s morning DJ and hometown native Don Chase served as emcee for the individuals and groups who performed a variety of music.
At the far end of the festival, several rides and games kept children of all ages occupied, while pony rides had the younger children excited as they circled the ring.
“She just loves the horses,” said Rachel Clifton of Elizabethtown after helping her daughter Emma, 3, ride. “She’d stay right here all day.”
The throng of vendors all stayed busy throughout the day as the crowd continued to build into the afternnon, while the horse-drawn wagon ride and train ride remained a popular activity for folks along the tracks. The Bladenboro Fire Department also stayed busy with its house fire display that allowed children to operate a live fire hose and “knock down” a fire in the windows of the display.
Down the road from the festival, the Bladenboro Airport hosted a fly-in, which meant visitors to the festival were able to witness low-flying planes and others doing stunts in the sky.
The day also featured the Beast Fest 5K run and walk, and many of the festival-goers were greeted by Miss Bladenboro 2015 Haven Cashwell and 2015 Bladenboro Princess Anna Grace Allen.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.