Rain doesn't down Farmers' Day

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 18, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
CHINA GROVE — Threats of rain didn’t stop hundreds from taking to the streets of China Grove Saturday for the 30th annual Farmers’ Day.
On the contrary, many thought the drizzling rain helped cool what many believe to be the “hottest day of the year.”
Organizer Lee Withers said the event’s turnout was just as successful as previous years.
“We’re blessed for the weather,” Withers said. “The crowd’s been steady all day. We feel good about it.”
Withers said he’s thankful the weather cooperated, because of the preparation the event takes.
“It’s a yearlong process,” he said. “We’ve got a great group of volunteers. There’s a lot of work that goes into it.”
Farmers’ Day originally began in the early 1980s as a way to honor local agriculture, providing farmers with a venue for selling produce.
Withers said this year’s event had 30 more vendors than last year’s.
Although there wasn’t an official attendance estimate, China Grove Police Chief Eddie Kluttz said this year’s event had more attendees.
“Visitor-wise, I think it’s over the attendance of last year,” Kluttz said.
One of the largest events of the day was Little Miss and Mr. Farmers’ Day.
Annalise Watts and Ian Robert Hannold were named the winners of the infant to 2-year-old age group. Gracie Howerton and Joshua Chance Simmons were the winners of the 3-to-5 age group.
Josh Simmons, Joshua Chance Simmons’ father, said he couldn’t be more proud of his son.
“This is his third year in it. It’s the first year he’s won,” Simmons said. “We’re excited.”
Simmons said his son will be looking to defend his title next year.
“Oh yeah,” Simmons said. “We’re going for two in a row.”
The 30th annual Farmers’ Day displayed everything from acrylic bathtubs to gas-powered bicycles from World War II.
Jimmy Brown, a China Grove resident and owner of the two bikes, said it was his first year showing off the World War II antiques.
Brown said he usually brings his black ’48 Chevrolet, which he inherited from his father, but decided to add his newest collections to the display.
“I’ve had my car here before, but not my trailer with the bikes,” he said.
Brown said his passion for collecting antiques stems from a “mechanical nostalgia.”
According to Brown, the bicycles are still rideable and were used during the war by soldiers on military bases.
“I take them to the local shows,” Brown said. “They’re a conversation piece.”