Friday, October 17, 2014

Mentone's Annual Colorfest by Kayla Worthey

For more than 30 years, the Annual Colorfest has drawn thousands of people to Mentone’s little village causing it to come to life with artists, musicians, local chefs, visiting patrons, and even nature seems to respond.  They come to drink in the cool, crisp mountain air, admire the glory of the fall foliage, and enjoy the festivities. Set for October 17-19, 2014, Colorfest brings together many different forms of art, the sounds of live music, fabulous foods and other family-friendly activities as Mother Nature sets the stage for a spectacular autumn season.

Colorfest will kick off with its traditional Friday night Fish Fry and bonfire hosted by One World Adventure at the Mentone Inn backyard pavilion from 3:30pm to 7pm. Cost is $10 each and includes a heaping plate of fresh catfish, Dave’s hushpuppies, homemade slaw, drink and dessert. Hang around and enjoy a two-hour tribute to the Beatles by David Lusk from 8pm to 10pm. Bring your lawn chair and/or blanket.

Get up early Saturday and “get your run on” at the Color Craze 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run before the festival. Participants will enjoy a scenic route beginning at Mason Park while being doused with colored powder.  Registration begins at 7am with the first wave of runners starting at 7:50am. Be sure to admire the Scarecrow Holler display while you are at Mason Park and go back to vote for your favorite handmade scarecrow during festival hours.

On Saturday morning, gates open at 9 a.m. to a glorious display of arts and crafts from over 70 premier artists and craftsmen in Brow Park, which offers perhaps the most spectacularly breathtaking bluff views in Mentone.

Exciting, down-home mountain music fills the air with the “Sounds of Mentone” – 2 days of a steady stream of music from some very talented local musicians. Live music will keep festivalgoers on their toes throughout the weekend with a line-up of energetic and professional local musicians that include Taylor Poff, Marc Womack, Ryan Keefe, Jerry Bloom, Jordan Brown, Jared Cushen, Jess Goggans, Silvia Constantino, Lisa Crow, Larry Joe Hall, Terry Hutcheson and David Lusk, all slated to perform at the Brow Park pavilion.

This year they bring an additional blast of local talent to the festival in the form of singers and musicians from area schools. These young performers will be on stage throughout the weekend at the Children’s Festival – located in the side parking lot of Kamama Gallery. Performers include Hannah Blansit, Taylor Henderson, Bri Wells, Abigail Goolesby, The Fowler Sisters, The Inputs, Moon Lake Chorus, Chris Robert’s Jazz Group and winners of the Singing with the Stars competition, Kenadie Lee, Payton Sells and Tatum Campbell.

Another new addition to The Children’s Festival will be The Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama. Along with pony rides, pumpkin bowling, glitter tattoos, cookie decoration and a dunking booth where festivalgoers have the opportunity to soak their favorite (or maybe least favorite?) politician or other community leader, you should have plenty to enjoy while at The Children’s Festival.

Be sure to browse the entire town at your leisure when you go. There are lots of shops, boutiques and unique places to discover.  Catch a ride in a horse drawn carriage near brow park and then head into town to enjoy some fantastic fall displays set up by many businesses that are participating in the Pumpkin Patch Jubilee decorating contest.

Look for the "Taste of Mentone" signs when your tummy starts talkin'! During festival hours, the Taste of Mentone participants will give you an opportunity to taste some of the best cuisine in the south!

The Mentone Business Association (MBA) is overseeing a free family friendly scavenger hunt that will lead you all over town in search of clues that offer a treat with each one found. If you complete the game, you can qualify to win a cash prize. You can visit MBA’s booth at the festival to register and get game rules. 

Festival hours are 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. Handouts will be available at various locations around the Town of Mentone and will include a full schedule of events as well as a guide map. Admission is free, so bring the whole family and enjoy the festivities and the beautiful fall season.

Colorfest is presented by Mentone Area Preservation Association and sponsored by Jet Polymer Recycling, DeKalb Tourism, Skelton Orthodontics, Kamama Gallery, Wildflower CafĂ©, Mentone Realty, Custom Home Designs, First State Bank, Dixie Salvage, First Fidelity Bank, Wilson Funeral Home & Crematory, Accel Graphics, The Citizens Bank, Bruce’s Foodland, Westmoreland Tire, Valley Head Drugs, BJ Foodmart, Mountain Top Country Store and Mentone Camps (Desoto, Laney, Skyline, Riverview, and Alpine).