Photo by Elaine Rackley: Joel Pignataro (left) turns the “Gyroscope” as Kayden Waldrop, 7, rides upside down. The carnival ride was one of many offerings at the Bear Creek Festival, held Saturday and Sunday, at Hampton City Park.
Cotton candy, funnel cakes, polish sausage, and grilled barbecue filled the air over the weekend, at the 14th Annual Hampton Bear Creek Festival, in Hampton City Park.
Lindsey and Dustin Allen got a chance to ride a pony for the first time. The kids held on as they were led around in a circle, by Elaine Weldon, owner of Pony Patch Pony Rides.
Even before she mounted the horse, an excited young Lindsey exclaimed, “Wheeeee!” as she waited her turn.
The Allens were among thousands of people who participated in the two-day festival, according to Britt Evans, vice president of the Hampton Business Association. The group sponsors the festival.
Evans estimated that 8,000 people attended the event over the weekend. He said it also attracted 100 vendors. The business association had a booth that sold Bear Creek festival T-shirts.
A parade kicked off this year’s festival, and there was a car show, too.
First-time Bear Creek festival vendors, Bizzy Bees, sold personalized key chains, baby gifts, and “any thing you can think of that can be personalized,” said Katie Cash.
Two live bands, “85 South” and “FUEL” performed. Some participants danced, while others sat and listened to the music.
Hampton Police Chief Rad Porter, along with his staff, passed out coloring books, candy, and paper badges to youngsters.
Porter encouraged families to visit the booth of Hampton’s Masonic Lodge #70, which provided a child identification kit, that would include a photo of the child, a DNA sample, along with a dental mold, to help identify the child, in the event he or she is lost or the victim of an abduction.
“We have identified over 61,000 children in Georgia,” said Barry Brooks, past master of the Masonic group.