Wow! Has it been 5 years already? Seems like only yesterday that we had just begun talking about the first festival to be held in downtown Hazlehurst in two decades. Now, we will be enjoying the sixth annual Rockin’ Railroad Festival this Saturday!
Rockin’ Railroad is the only community-wide Chamber-sponsored event held in downtown Hazlehurst each year. Back in 2009, a group of us who were serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors were talking after an early meeting that year about plans for Chamber events. Almost simultaneously, three of us said, “We really need to put on a festival that the whole community will enjoy.” About 8 months later, after hours and hours of meeting and planning, making phone calls, sending emails, figuring out what would and would not work, talking to the public and soliciting sponsorships, downtown Hazlehurst rocked from early on the morning of October 3 until late that night. We felt that by the attendance and by the reactions of those who attended, we had created something special. And, truly, Rockin’ Railroad is special.
This year’s edition has been planned and organized by a somewhat new group of Chamber board members, picking up where we left off in some ways and making improvements in others. The members of this group have gone through all of the planning and organizing, and I assure you, each has done their part to present a top-notch festival that everyone in the community will enjoy. All they are waiting on is for Saturday to get here.
That’s where you come in. If you’ve ever been to a Rockin’ Railroad Festival, you know that the event gets better each year. You look forward to seeing the folks you’ve known and perhaps to meeting some new ones. You anticipate the aroma of all the good festival food and the items that arts and crafts vendors will have for sale. You look forward to seeing the children’s art and eagerly await the announcement of the winners. The cars and bikes on display, perhaps, make your heart beat fast as you imagine yourself riding around the community in the shine and gleam of a refurbished and renewed classic. Ahhh, and the music–you pull your lawn chairs out and get them ready for a day of great performances.
If you’ve never been to Rockin’ Railroad, come check it out. The festival is funded locally, and these sponsorships keep the event free. Plus, the sponsors appreciate a big crowd. I guarantee that you will be pleased with the results.