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Lula toots its horn at Railroad Days Festival
Hall town’s event provides a slice of ‘small-town Americana’
River Segars, 2, of Gillsville reaches for a duck in hopes to win a prize on Saturday, May 12, at the Lula Railroad Days Parade and Festival. - photo by Amber Tyner
Jim Grier, mayor of Lula, and councilman Garnett Smith enjoy the festivities on Saturday, May 12, at the annual Lula Railroad Days Parade and Festival. - photo by Amber Tyner

Crowds filled the Lula train yard Saturday for the city’s 42nd annual Railroad Days Festival.

The weather was muggy and hot, but smiling faces were everywhere.

“It’s always either hot or wet, so everybody comes out and has a good time no matter what the weather,” Lula Mayor Jim Grier said.

The event included vendors offering items that included jewelry, purses even homemade honey and birdhouses.

Michelle Saddler Arrué, owner of Cositos by Michelle, said it was the first time bringing products to the festival.

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Michelle Saddler Arrué, owner of Cositos by Michelle, and her husband Anthony sit at their booth as they wait for customers Saturday, May 12, at the Lula Railroad Days Parade and Festival. - photo by Amber Tyner
“Cositos means ‘thingies’ in Spanish, so I sell paper craft things and stuff, so arts and home decor,” she said. “We participated in the fall festival for the first time last year, so that’s how we found out. We have a lot of lookers.”

Kerston Palmer, an independent consultant for Paparazzi Accessories, said this was her first time having a booth, too, but it wasn’t her first time at the festival.

“My actual little business name is ‘Glamour Galz,’” she said. “I’ve been here before, but I haven’t sold here before. My mom sold here last year and she did pretty good, so I thought I would try it with my jewelry and see how I did.”

People of all ages were trickling through these and other booths, including Julian Cantrell of Lula.

“I’ve been probably 14 years,” he said about attending the festival. “It’s close to home.”

He made sure to stop at the booth of Stacy and Karen Roberts, which sold numerous honey products.

“Everything is homemade,” Stacy said of their business, Bee Faithful Farms. “We have done this (festival) for I think three years now. It’s local. We’re right here at it.”

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Tonya Young and her daughter Mary Passmore of Clermont visit the vendor booths Saturday, May 12, at the Lula Railroad Days Parade and Festival. - photo by Amber Tyner
Tonya Young of Clermont also strolled through the crowd with her daughter, Mary Passmore.

“We try to come every year,” Young said. “We just always have such a good time. It (the festival) grows every year, but it’s not overcrowded. I love the recycled silverware jewelry booth. And the music. It’s kind of down-home country. We just like to get out and walk around and have fun.”

Grier said watching all the people have fun is his favorite part of the festival.

“I think I’ve been here ever since the very first one,” he said about the event. “It’s a great experience just seeing the kids and their faces when they see balloons and pony rides and the parade as well. This is really a great time. Just the prime example of small-town Americana. It’s always fun for the kids and older people alike.”

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