Bear Creek Festival in Hampton this weekend

By Jason A. Smith


Organizers of a fall tradition which takes place this weekend in Hampton, say they are incorporating new elements in hopes of drawing even more people than last year.

The 11th annual Bear Creek Festival will be held today and Sunday, at McBrayer City Park.

The event is being organized through the Hampton Business Merchant Association (HBMA). The group's president, Sharon Tarpley, says the purpose of the festival is simply to "get everyone together" in the city for a fun weekend. "We have a lot of local people coming in from different areas," she says. "We will have several out-of-state vendors participating as well."

Today's festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m., with a parade through downtown Hampton. A car show, sponsored by the Antique Automobile Club of America, will follow from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m.

Britt Evans, the HBMA's vice president, is in charge of the entertainment for the event, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 people. He says on Sunday, there is going to be "something for everybody" at the festival.

"We've got several clogging and dancing groups, and local churches are bringing their praise bands to perform," says Evans. "We'll also have a magic show, hay rides and inflatables for kids."

Some of the approximately 100 vendors at the festival will feature homemade jewelry and glassblowing exhibits, as well as a petting zoo. Food from dozens of vendors will also be available during the festival.