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Flowery Branch Spring Festival features food, fun and flying wood chips
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Annabelle Jackson, 4, jumps on a bungee trampoline Saturday evening during the Flowery Branch Spring Festival in downtown Flowery Branch. - photo by Erin O. Smith

The Flowery Branch Spring Festival was held Saturday in the downtown historic area of the town with the usual festival fare. Concessions, vendors and local business’ booths dotted the streets, but there was one thing other festivals don’t gave: The Whittler.

Terry Williamson drew a crowd at 2 p.m. when he started chiseling away at a hunk of wood with a whirring chain saw.

Williamson says he is a self-proclaimed chain saw artist, and he’s been creating sculptures out of wood for the past four years.

“It’s fun for me,” he said.

He used to work with ice, but switched over to wood and started going by his moniker, creating a Facebook page and a website.

A roofing contractor by day, Williamson gets a kick out of making his figures from the big blocks he starts with. He’s made everything from cow skulls to butterflies, shaping them and curving his chain saw this way and that to mold it into the image he sees in his mind.

“It’s really just the general shape,” he said.

Flowery Branch’s festival is the first he’s ever demonstrated for. He raffled off the dolphin he created at the festival and split the profits down the middle with the Boy Scout Troop 228.

“My niece and nephew are Scouts,” Williamson said.

The troop helps put on the festival every year. It was the Scout’s job to help vendors set up before the festival and help them take down their tents at the end.

Linda Dyer knows firsthand how helpful they are. Last year, Dyer and a few other women had their own booth where they raised money to sponsor their three-day Susan G. Komen walk.

“You have to raise $2,300, so it helped out with that,” Dyer said.

When the festival was over last year, Dyer said the Boy Scouts helped them take down their tent.

“It was really a big help,” she said.

The Gainesville woman came with her grandson, 9-year-old Rocco Burnett.

“We are just enjoying the beautiful day,” Dyer said.

They weren’t the only ones out because of the great weather. Nicole Wood and her daughter Avery Wood, along with Wood’s sister, Jennifer Poole, and her daughter, Annabeth Poole, came from Gainesville to have fun in the sun.

“We came out to enjoy the sunshine,” Nicole Wood said.

Avery and Annabeth came with their moms and left with blue mouths from their shaved ice treats.

When Alison Turner arrived, she went straight for the hot boiled peanuts. Turner was scoping out the place and researching for a possible booth next year. She’s a marketing coordinator for the Shane’s Rib Shack barbecue chain.

“It’s looking good so far,” she said.

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