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July Fest 2017 benefits rescue personnel

By María Camp for the FCT

 

July Fest, an annual community event in Vina, took place July 29.

Vina Fire Chief Michael Moomaw said the festival benefits the rescue squad as well as the fire department.

As with most community gatherings, food is a big part of the festivities at July Fest. From shaved ice, smoothies and ice cream to freshly-prepared lemonade and iced tea, there was no danger of being in want of a tasty beverage or dessert. Other treats included cheese sticks, deep fried pickle chips, ribbon fries, burgers, jumbo corn dogs and chicken tenders.

“Drink sales and car show revenue specifically benefit the fire department,” Moomaw said. “Schools and religious groups receive special consideration for vendor spaces. There is no charge for school kids, and they get to keep 100 percent of whatever they make. We want to help the members of our community as they work toward the future.”

Fun for the children included a bounce house and an inflated waterslide. Live music was provided by Hurricane Creek Choir, Country Roosters, Chuck Clark, Jared Massey, Cody Bass, and Jordan Hester and the Motor Pool Mafia. Jason Isbell was the featured singer.

Trophy winners for the car show were Jimmy Burrows, Best Interior, 1940 Ford Deluxe; Dustin Howie, Best Paint, 2017 Dodge Challenger; and Keith Shields, Best Engine, 1967 Chevy Camaro. The trophy winners were all from Mississippi.

A variety of vendors and groups set up booths for the festival, like Cary Ann Morgan, who came with her carefully created paintings on glass and her handcrafted luxury soap. “A painting takes about six months,” Morgan said. “Each layer has to cure before I go on to the next, and I make my own medium.”

She has been painting for many years and making soap for around six or seven. “All of the ingredients in the soap are natural,” said Morgan. Her paintings closely resemble stained glass.

Jimmy Little of Fayette, Ala., brought his handmade bird houses, squirrel feeders and rustic furniture.

Another vendor provided airbrushing of T-shirts. Jewelry, knives and other articles of clothing were among some of the additional retail selections.

A highly-anticipated event of the day was the annual Draw Down. A $100 donation secured one of the 325 available tickets. The big prize was either one of the vehicles made available for the drawing, $17,000 cash or $20,000 toward a different vehicle.

When only two tickets were left to be drawn, the ticket holders received the option to agree to share the winnings or to go ahead and draw. This year, they agreed to share. Winners of the 2017 Draw Down were Eric Hallman, of East Franklin, and Billy Boyd, of Red Bay. Each wins $8,500.

Moomaw said he considers it an honor and a privilege to be able to hold this event and meet people from inside and outside of the community. “It’s a good opportunity to show off what we have worked so hard for. The fire equipment we have – we’ve raised everything for it. We have three trucks. We’ll be able to pay off the loan on them around November.”

“We’re very grateful,” Moomaw added, “to our businesses, political leaders and other people who support the Vina Fire Department and Vina Rescue Squad because, without them, what we do would not be possible. Our teams include EMTs and first responders. We respond to all calls. Around 95 percent work for both the fire department and the rescue squad.”

Fireworks took place at the end of the night to wrap up the day. Sue Raper, Vina town clerk, said, “I think it was one of the best fireworks shows we’ve had out here. They do a great job with it every year.”