All clear for Granite Fest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
GRANITE QUARRY ó Granite Fest turned into a very hot time Saturday afternoon.
An Elvis impersonator in a huge tent drew dozens of spectators who swayed while listening to the classic songs.
For the youngsters, the rides and huge inflatable slides and climbing walls that sprawled across a chunk of Granite Civic Park were the place to be.
The park was filled with vendors, lots of tempting food, antique tractors and hundreds of people checking it all out and visiting with their neighbors and friends.
Crystal Stubbs and her sister Jamie Patterson, both of Rockwell, were among the first-time visitors to Granite Fest.
“It was fun,” said Stubbs, adding it would have been better if were a little cooler.
Her 3-year-old daughter, Ashyln, fell in love with the giant slide but also seemed to like the old Farmall tractor, painted pink.
Her mama took a picture of Ashlyn with the tractor. It was almost a match to Ashlyn’s dress.
Pam Elium came with the tractors. She and her husband, Randy, are members of the Carolina Antique Power Association, a group that restores old tractors.
Pam Elium briefly abandoned the tractors to listen to “Elvis,” in a black sequined outfit complete with cape.
“He’s got a good voice,” she said.
Clyde and Betty Miller paused to listen to a bit of Elvis and then headed across the park. “We came to look at the old tractors,” said Clyde.
The hot, blustery afternoon provided a lot of business for the Granite Quarry PTA.
In addition to a wide array of home baked cookies and slices of cake, the PTA had bottles of very cold water.
Wendy Miller, PTA community relations coordinator, described business as good.
It’s the first year the PTA has had a booth at Granite Fest, but Miller said they decided it was a way of making their presence known.
The PTA is working to raise enough money to buy new playground equipment for the school.
“We’ve got a new principal. We’re working to have a fun year for our kids,” Miller said.
Fest visitors could also check out assorted emergency equipment, including Granite Quarry Fire Department units and the county’s very large mobile Rowan Incident Command unit.
The festival had a variety of entertainment and events, including a street dance.
While the festival got a very warm start, it escaped the potential rains from Tropical Storm Hanna.
Susan Closner, events coordinator, said they put the stage under a large tent and moved the audio equipment under the shelter. And she pointed out that worked out fine, providing a bit of shade for festival-goers. Uncertain forecasts apparently caused some vendors to stay away.
Closner guesstimated Granite Fest draws 1,000 to 3,000 each year.