'Bittersweet' Powers auction deemed successful
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Hundreds of items were sold to the highest bidder Thursday at the auction to benefit Coweta Festivals Inc.
They included the entire collection of Coweta Festivals, amassed over four decades of the Powers’ Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival, now known as Powers Festival.
A few choice items sold for hundreds of dollars, but many, including various works of art, sold for just a few dollars.
Though the auction was originally scheduled to last until 11 p.m., by just after 9 there were only a few items left, and auctioneer Doug Bennet grouped them into lots. One of the last lots to go included pottery, glassware, an exquisite wooden piece and yard art — roughly a dozen pieces — that sold for under $50.
Beverly Garner, president of the Coweta Festivals board, was pleased with how things turned out.
“We just call it a big success,” Garner said on Friday. “We were pleased with the attendance and how things sold,” she said.
“I think people had fun,” she added. “They enjoyed the art and there were people there who were very interested in the old antique stuff.”
Garner didn’t have final numbers Friday on how much money was raised, but “we feel very good about the auction.”
There was a fairly large crowd, and “I think everybody was bidding on one thing or another,” she said. “Some people got some really good bargains.”
Though the evening was fun and exciting, there was definitely a bittersweetness about it.
Some auction attendees, who did not want to be quoted, said it was a sad night, and they weren’t happy to see years of collected items auctioned off. Some wondered why some of the items couldn’t have been donated to a museum.
Coweta Festivals didn’t keep anything, Garner said. “We decided if we were going to get rid of anything, we would just let the whole lot go,” she said. “We couldn’t predict what people might like so we didn’t know how to choose.”
She said the donation of some items had been discussed “with a couple of organizations but their focus didn’t go along with anything that we had.”
The items were sold because there was nowhere to put them.
This year, Coweta Festivals, which owns the Powers Festival grounds and has run the festival since 1975, entered into a management agreement with Xcessive Sound and its president, Mark Turnham. Turnham now operates the festival, and is also putting on several other events this year, including Zombie Village, Winter Wonderland, and a spring Powers Festival.
With Xcessive Sound moving in, there was no longer room in the office or buildings on the festival grounds for the items, according to Garner.
“He needed the space. We just didn’t have anywhere to put it,” Garner said. “At the same timeâ ¦ we felt like there were people interested enough in these old things for the memories, that had an interest in Powers’ Crossroads” who would want to give the items a home.
Space for storage probably could have been found but “we just didn’t want it to be packed away and just kind of forgotten,” Garner said.
“People wouldn’t enjoy it that way,” she said.
And many of the people who did purchase items have been involved with Powers’ and Coweta Festivals for years, including several board members.
“I think some of our biggest bidders were board members of Coweta Festivals,” Garner said.