Sunny skies smile on BeastFest

W. Curt Vincent Editor

November 4, 2013

BLADENBORO — Mother Nature made up for what she brought to the annual BeastFest last year by offering clearing, warming skies on Saturday and allowing the downtown area to fill with festival-goers.

BeastFest organizers remember the 2012 version, which was postponed a week because of Hurricane Sandy.

“The weather was just awful last year,” said Virginia Howell. “But today turned out to be a pretty day.”

The seventh annual BeastFest again featured a classic car show on one side of Main Street and all kinds of entertainment, games, rides and vendors on the other side.

As the festival was kicking off, Gilbert Cain of Ammon was polishing the fenders of his 1966 Mustang — the very first vehicle he ever owned.

“I bought it in Elizabethtown in 1966 and I still have the bill of sale for it,” Cain said.

Throughout the day, as the crowd swelled, Bob the Beast made his way from one end of the festival to the other, and back again, greeting visitors, posing for photographs and handing out candy to the children.

“He’s not that scary,” said Julia Deavers, 8, of Bladenboro after posing for a photograph with the Beast. “He’s kind of nice.”

When asked what her favorite part of the festival was, Kaylee Chesnutt, 8, of Lumberton said it was one of the rides.

“The Super Slide was fun,” she exclaimed. “I had to ride it three times.”

Her sister, Karis, 3, also enjoyed the slide, but remembered the horse-drawn wagon ride more.

“Those horses were big,” she said.

Among the numerous entertainers to take the stage during the day was Dandy Don Davis, who came to the festival from Florence, S.C., to perform his nostalgic country music with a little bit of comedy woven in.

This year’s festival was expected to attract close to 10,000 visitors.