Todd New River Festival celebrates 20th year with music, crafts

Wil Petty Staff Writer

October 14, 2013

Despite overcast conditions and a chance for rainfall on Saturday afternoon, the 20th annual Todd New River Festival at Walter and Annie Cook Park went on as planned.

Barry Stevens, president the host Todd Ruritan, said they estimated over 2,000 people would come to the town throughout the day.

Several vendors made their way to the festival to sell their products, promote their business or show off history.

“I just like to see people keep the old stuff going,” said John Hodges, a Boone resident.

Hodges brought hit and miss gasoline engines from the early 20th century to display. The engines were used to generate electricity in rural and mountainous areas.

Hodges said he has come to the festival several years and also usually brings an antique grist mill. With the rain this year affecting corn prices, he opted not to bring it.

Other vendors were at the Todd New River Festival to take part in the community and sell their products.

“We sell a lot of our apples here,” said Bergie Moretz, of Moretz Mountain Orchard in Todd.

This is the fifth year Moretz has sold her apples at the festival. The orchard grows over 100 varieties of apples.

“It’s good for us to get together (at the New River festival) for fellowship,” she said.

The festival ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12. While some vendors had produce on hand, others were selling different types of crafts.

“I (make crafts) part time,” said Willie Houck, owner of Houck’s woodwork. “It’s just a way to sell my product and pay my expenses. It also helps us connect to the community.”

Houck specializes in woodturning, a form a woodworking which involves a lathe spinning while the wood is worked on.

Houck said the festival is a great environment to not only sell his products but to help others learn about the woodwork.

“(The festival) is a fundraiser to get scholarship money to children,” he said. “It’s a great environment for folks to come out, socialize and see what crafts people have for sale.”

Also, local businesses were on hand for exposure within the community.

Elkland Art Center specializes in puppet shows and parades for local youth. The organization also provides opportunities in documentary filmmaking.

Earlier this year, the art center premiered it’s movie “The Land Sustains us, A Todd Story,” about the community.

“I believe this is a great, little community festival,” said Martha Enzmann, director of the Elkland Art Center. “There are a lot of folks from Todd here and it’s a great way to showcase the town.”