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A celebration of agriculture, pottery and ... cow patties?

Cleveland festival features crafts, exhibits and a unique contest

POSTED: September 22, 2011 12:30 a.m.

Visitors can celebrate Cleveland's agriculture and its folk pottery tradition Saturday at Agri-Fest Country Market and Pottery Comes to Town, a dual festival that will feature ag-related wares and demonstrations as well as exhibits from several potters from throughout the region.

Members of the famed Meaders family will be included in the pottery show, which will take place in the parking lot next to the White County Courthouse on U.S. 129.

The show is a new addition to Agri-Fest, which is in its fourth year.

"We wanted to sponsor this this year ... because it really fits in with agriculture and things from the earth," said Judy Lovell, president of the White County Historical Society.

"I mean, the clay is coming right from the earth, so we were just excited about doing this."

White County Chamber of Commerce President Judy Walker said 25 vendors have signed on for the event, which will include pottery, books about pottery and clay jewelry.

"This used to be the (time of year for) the Mossy Creek Pottery Show," Walker said. "They lost the location, not able to do it at the campground anymore, so the Historical Society picked it up."

Families can also take a look at animal exhibits, basket-making, canning, weaving and soap-making at Agri-Fest, which will be located in the adjacent parking lot on Ga. 115.

A staple of the festival, Cow Patty Bingo, will begin at 3 p.m. You can win cash prizes if a cow "selects" your square.

"Everybody who purchases a ticket will get a free T-shirt and a free cow bell while supplies last," Walker said.

"At about a quarter till (3 p.m.), we'll start pulling all the names, the ticket stubs, out of the raffle box, and we'll just start placing them on this big board that resembles the grid area. And at three o'clock, ‘Yonah Patty' will be led out onto the grid area, and wherever she does her business, whoever's square that is, will get $1,000."

Ticket-holders can "power-up" for a few extra dollars to up their chances.

"You are able to ‘power up,' which means if it does splatter over into yours and you have that square, then you get $100," Walker said, adding that the cow is, of course, oblivious to the contest.

"Everybody just kind of stands around with their little cow bells, ringing them, and she just kind of looks at them, like, ‘What in the world?'"

Kids can take advantage of pony rides, and see piglets, goats and alpacas at the festival.

Benny Allison's Bluecreek Bluegrass Band will perform from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and food vendors will offer boiled and roasted peanuts, shaved ice, lemonade, fried pies and other Southern fare.

"We've got a new food vendor this year that I'm pretty excited about," Walker said.

"It's called Broken Arrow Catering Company, and they actually have a chuck wagon, so they'll have a one-pot meal that they'll serve with cornbread."



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