“It’s all about putting feet on the street. This was one of the biggest days ever for Pirkle’s Deli,” said local business owner Brett Pirkle. “When people come downtown to work, shop, or play, my business does well.”
Cedartown Main Street Director Ramona Ruark was also happy local businesses benefited from the festival.
“We expected a big turnout for our 35th annual fall celebration, and no one was disappointed,” Ruark said. “Several of our downtown merchants reported banner sales and all of our vendors said they did well. Most of all, we had great attendance, with 3,000 to 3,500 people participating.”
The opening parade drew entries from 20 businesses and organizations, including event sponsor, Charter Communications. Floats were provided by Pink Sugar, Bojangles, Zeebel Clothing, the Boys and Girls Club, West Cinema, Tallatoona, Congressman Tom Graves, FHF Hair Designs, and the Polk County Republican Party. There were also vehicles provided by city and county fire departments, Taxes de America, Alfa Insurance, and Floyd Medical. The Throttle Jockeys added eight antique autos and trucks, while the Shriners’ Club entertained the crowds with antics in their customized show vehicles.
Current Ninth District Congressman Tom Graves was also in attendance for the festival, meeting and talking with local citizens. Graves will be the congressman for the newly created Fourteenth District. In conjunction with the reapportionment plan recently approved by the Georgia legislature, Polk County moves from the Eleventh Congressional District of Representative Phil Gingery to the newly created Fourteenth District, which includes Gordon County where Graves resides. Following the morning’s parade, Graves addressed a meeting of the Polk County Republican Party at West Cinema.
Ruark estimated that the sponsorship of Charter Communications plus booth rentals and soft drink sales netted more than $2,000 for the Downtown Cedartown Association.
Music was provided by the Cedartown High School Band leading their Homecoming Court procession. Bringing up the rear were a mule drawn covered wagon and 20 mounted riders from the Crazzy P Arena.
Live entertainment filled the afternoon and evening, featuring presentations by Youngs Grove Church Drama Club, Northside Elementary Chorus, Youngs Grove Elementary Chorus, Second Steps Dance Studio, McCall Pirkle and the Lundy Boys Band, the Cedartown Police Department’s Gospel Trio, local vocalist Cindy Smith, and the Scratch Off John Band. Miller Welding offered train rides along Main Street for children of all ages. In addition, there was karaoke for the singers in the crowd.
At midday, young ladies and gentlemen entertained spectators with a fashion show on Main Street produced by Jacque Peterson of Pink Sugar. Apparel and accessories were provided by Holmes for Him, Holmes for Her, Merle Norman, and Pink Sugar. Hairstyling was provided by Hal Floyd of FHF Hair Designs and Amber Crowley with Reflections Salon.
“We are delighted with the involvement of local merchants, community leaders, and the people of Cedartown in making the Fall Festival an outstanding success,” said Cedartown City Commissioner Dale Tuck. Tuck serves as the Commission’s representative on the Downtown Development Authority and has been directly involved in creating a successful business climate on Main Street.
Tuck continued, “The city has done what local government needs to do to make our Historic Downtown Business District a success. We have provided tax incentives for property owners to reinvest. We have provided tax incentives for businesses to create new jobs. We have brought in state and federal funds to replace streets and sidewalks, build a pocket park, and improve the overall appearance of Main Street. Now, we are beginning to see the benefits of our efforts in new shops, new shoppers, and successful downtown events.”
“We will use the money to fund future downtown events like block parties and concerts. When people come and have a good time, downtown merchants’ cash registers ring,” said Ruark.
Ruark added that the City of Cedartown is very supportive of events like the Fall Festival.
“We are blessed to have the solid support of City Manager Robbie Rokovitz and the Cedartown City Commission, as well as the cooperation of the Georgia Department of Transportation,” Ruark said. “Plus, it took a lot of hard work from city employees and the active support of the Junior Service League and the Downtown Cedartown Association’s Promotion Committee, chaired by local photographer Kiela Beam. Successful events don’t just happen.”