Everybody's Day creates grand spectacle
A sun-splashed day in Thomasville renewed the spirit of the city Saturday as patrons, vendors, visitors and residents walked the streets searching for trinkets to take home from Everybody's Day.
The 105th annual event had the support of more than just the weather, which had been dreadful each of the last two years. Doug Croft, president of the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce, said it was one of the city's finest festivals.
"I had two city council people tell me it's the most they've ever seen," said Croft, who adds he does not keep official records of attendance but admits it was an incredible number. "I think because of the last couple of years, it certainly seemed that way. I would say this festival may not have broken records, but was certainly among the upper echelon of Everybody's Day festivals we've had."
Chamber Membership Director Krimson Wilson was overwhelmed at the outpouring of support.
"This was my first [Everybody's Day] and it was the most rewarding experience I've ever had," Wilson said. "We had so many vendors stop by and thank us for how well everything went, our attendance was way up this year and our food vendors were thrilled.
“Our winner of the artisan award went to Ynot Imagine. He was brought to tears. You never know how much this means to them until they come up to you."
Tony Underwood was an emotional winner of Best in Show, while Buddy Way placed second with his driftwood fountains. Starr and Mike Shipley took home third place for their cedar carvings.
The number of first-time visitors was impressive. Men such as Jimmy Bass migrated to Thomasville despite being unfamiliar with the event.
"I was just passing through," said Bass, a resident of Walkertown. He claimed he had never heard of Everybody's Day until his journey took him through the Chair City. "It's a good day to be out. This is my first time. I just saw it and stopped."
Tommy Bryant, a regular festival-goer, also was pleased.
"We enjoyed talking to people. We worked for a while in the booth and we had a number of people come over to talk," said Bryant, who volunteered at the Chamber’s information booth. "It's a little overcast right now, but compared to last year when a monsoon hit, we're so much happier with this weather. It's always a great event. We take part one way or the other."
Musical guest Olivia Albertson was on hand for a homecoming of sorts. A Thomasville native and country recording artist, Albertson's show was exciting for her fans, who traveled to witness her performance. Students from Catawba College, where she attends classes, came up from Salisbury for Everybody's Day.
"Olivia is fantastic. We've seen her perform a thousand times and she just kills it," said Jake Martin. "We were mainly concerned about getting here in time to see her."
Croft said he was reminded of Albertson's vocal talent during warmups, one of the many things that contributed to the electric atmosphere Saturday.
"It's phenomenal that many people can come together, have a good time and not have an issue," Croft said. "It happens in this community."
More photos of Everybody's Day will be printed on Everybody's Page in Saturday's edition of the Times. Additional photos are posted on the Thomasville Times Facebook page.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.