Hummingbird Festival returns this weekend
by Bradley Hartsell
This weekend, Oct. 19-20, Hogansville's signature fall event - The Hummingbird Festival - returns for its 16th year in historic downtown.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival will be available, rain or shine.
'Midwest Georgia's Favorite Fall Festival' will feature a wide assortment of food, crafts, antiques, music, local artists and more.
With 200 vendors - 40 in the food court alone - there will be plenty of entertainment for the whole family.
Booths will be filled with the wares and taste bud-tickling treats of artisans, businesses, charities, hobbyists and enthusiasts from across Georgia.
The town's merchants will also have storefronts open during the weekend festival.
The Hummingbird Festival is the chief fundraising arm of the Hogansville Charitable Trust Inc., a Georgia non-profit public charity. The money is all used for maintenance and city improvements, along with matching funds for grants.
The annual Hummingbird Festival Golf Tournament, dinner, dance and silent auction and a pancake breakfast add to the festivities.
'We've raised $250,000 in the past 16 years and we've leveraged that into $2 million in improvements for the city,' said Bill Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz is the former city manager for Hogansville and now runs William & Mary's Antiques. He serves as the Charitable Fund's treasurer and is currently running for mayor of Hogansville.
Last year, the festival saw more than 15,000 visitors over two days.
'It's the fastest-growing festival in Georgia,' said Stankiewicz. 'I'm excited about the festival because of the exposure it brings to Hogansville. It attracts people from all over. It's good for a city the Atlanta Journal Constitution called one of the prettiest small towns in Georgia.'
Music will be featured on three different stages virtually all day each day. There is a children's area with vendors and rides suited toward kids. A free shuttle bus service will taxi in those parking in surrounding lots, as parking gets congested because the downtown is too small for all the cars coming in for the festival.
Also, get in the spirit of the season: each year the festival marks the opening of the Hogansville Halloween Haunted House of Horrors at the old Royal Theater. Hauntings begin at 7 p.m. It's not for the faint of heart, say organizers. Additional hauntings are scheduled for Oct. 25, 26 and Oct. 31, from 7-10 p.m., in the Royal Theater behind City Hall, 400 E. Main Street.
Admission for the haunted house is $10 adults, $5 for children ages 12 years and under. (Parents of children under 6 years strongly cautioned event is scary.) For details on the haunted house to to www.hauntedhogansville. com.
For more on the annual festival go to Hummingbirdfestival.com.