Village Fest 2012 activities continue today in Kannapolis

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 11, 2012

By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS — Village Fest weekend kicked off Friday night in Kannapolis with gospel music, food and giveaways.
The action continues in downtown Kannapolis today, with performances by the Tim Clark Band from 2 to 5 p.m. and Too Much Sylvia from 7 to 10 p.m.
Brenda Drye of the Cabarrus Events Association said the free music and craft festival is expected to draw hundreds downtown, in addition to about 500 who attended Friday’s opening.
Before many people had left work, locals had already started staking out their spots with lawn chairs around the stage at West B Street and West Avenue.
The evening’s headline act was Karen Peck and New River, a gospel group and recent recipient of two Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association.
“We are just absolutely honored and thrilled to be here,” Karen Peck said shortly before going on stage.
“We just hope that people will walk away from this place with their days brighter.”
Elsewhere on West Avenue, vendors got set up for a weekend full of food and drink.
Members of the Cabarrus Shrine Club see Village Fest as one of the year’s biggest club fundraisers.
“Most of our fundraisers benefit the 22 nationwide Shriners Hospitals for crippled and burned children,” said Doug Osborne, club president
Club events, like the refreshments sold at Village Fest, “help keep the lights on.”
“We have to balance it out, to keep the club running,” he said.
Randy Crainshaw, club secretary, said Shriners will cook hundreds of hamburgers and hot dogs by the time the sun sets Saturday.
“Probably in the neighborhood of 600 of each, and close to 350 corn dogs, 210 pounds of fries and a boatload of drinks,” Crainshaw said.
“We’re going to have a good weekend, great weather, so we hope to make $3,000 off of it, provided we have good turnout,” Osbourne said.
Steve Jordan, member of the Cabarrus Shrine Club, said he felt the event’s popularity is due to the fact that it gets people outdoors, and is focused on family.
That’s what drew Jennifer Wilkerson, her sisters and their families to Village Fest.
Sampling corn dogs and chicken on a stick, they gathered around a picnic table to enjoy the music and a nice evening.
“It brings everyone together,” Wilkerson said. “I love it so far.”
Somchay Siharath, who runs Sunshine’s Asian Cuisine at 215 West A St., decided this year to close her restaurant Friday and set up a vendor tent on West Avenue.
She sold vegetable fried rice, chicken and spring rolls, along with drinks.
Today, Siharath said, the restaurant will be open as well as the Village Fest tent.
“We try to help the community, and to help the business grow,” Siharath said.
She hopes her presence at Village Fest will encourage new customers to try her food.
“It’s pretty good so far,” she said.
Drye said more than 100 food and craft vendors are slated to be part of the festivities today.
“I think the events we have downtown, we might draw some interest from the business community to invest here,” Drye said.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.