No matter how much rain fell Saturday, Clermont residents weren’t going to let that stop their celebration of the town’s centennial anniversary.
The Hall County town’s residents gathered downtown to celebrate “The Clermont Days Centennial Festival” as part of a 100-year celebration.
Saturday’s festivities included a 1900s-themed parade, car show and a 5-kilometer road race, to be followed by evening fireworks.
The rain began early in the morning, but picked up in intensity by the time the parade began. However, it didn’t deter the community from showing its support.
Brad Jenkins and his wife, Laura, along with daughters, Hadley, 4, and Olivia, 2, moved to Clermont in April, and said their first Clermont Days allowed them to feel a part of the community.
“It has been a lot of fun,” Brad Jenkins said of the two-day event. “It was neat seeing the old trucks, cars and tractors. I’ve never seen this many people in downtown Clermont.
“(Friday) night, we went to Clermont Days and listened to music. Today, we put up with the rain. It’s good to get a community together like this.
“We started the farmers market in town, so hopefully people see the signs while they’re here. That will grow the community a little better and get some outsiders to come enjoy what we have.”
Jenkins his daughters enjoyed the parade, the horses that marched through town and the free candy thrown out along the streets.
“In the rain, such a turnout. It’s just how it is,” Laura Jenkins said. “Clermont Days is Clermont Days, and you show up.”
Wayne Camboia of Heritage Antiques in downtown Clermont said even with the rain, he was glad to see a great turnout.
“Everybody seemed to be having a good time,” he said. “There was plenty of candy for all the kids. I think they really enjoyed themselves.”
Tony Smith, deacon at Christian Hill Baptist Church in Clermont, worked as a vendor, the church’s fifth time participating at Clermont Days.
“We did very well before the heavy rain set in,” Smith said. “We’re always received well, and we appreciate all the other vendors, too. Clermont being a small town, (Clermont Days) gives a lot of people a chance to come together, this year especially being the centennial year.
“It pulls our little town a little closer together. That’s what a lot of people live in Clermont for, to keep that small-town feel.”
Sally Conn, member of the Clermont Historical Society, said Clermont Days to her means community, togetherness and a bond, despite the weather.
“A lot of people came with their umbrellas and their slickers, but a lot of people just came and they’re just soaking wet. But they’re having a blast,” she said.
“We’re (Clermont) very small, but we’re also embracing changes and maybe a little bit of growth. We all like to keep it a little bit small just because that always feels good. ... Just good community. Good friends. Good folks. Just love it.”