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Friday, December 8, 2023

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Downtown Bartow Falls Into Fall With Fall Festival

Downtown Bartow Falls Into Fall With Fall Festival

by James Coulter

If you’re looking for delicious bread prepared with flaky melt-in-your-mouth pastry and decadently-flavored filling, try Braided Bread. You won’t find it at your local grocery store or online. You can only purchase it at select fundraisers and events like last weekend’s fall festival.

Lori Malcomb often attends such events, which are hosted by Main Street Bartow, to sell her wares. 40 percent of her purchases go towards a cause like the Bartow Church Service Center. Malcomb likes to attend events like the Bartow Fall Festival to help spread awareness about their fundraisers. Most of all, she loves being able to participate in the local community.

“I love the people,” she said. “I love seeing the families out. I am so happy. Bartow is a great community. The people are very nice with a lot of families. I also like seeing all the dogs and the children and the people and mainly talking with everybody.”

Last weekend’s Bartow Fall Festival proved to be a huge success. Even in spite of these uncertain times, hundreds of residents and visitors flocked to Downtown Bartow to peruse the dozens of vendors along Sumerlin and Central Avenue and shop at the many local businesses and restaurants.

Everything from natural honey and honey products to handcrafted snowmen and holiday decorations were on display Saturday from local vendors. People could also pick a fresh pumpkin from a pumpkin patch and peruse many classic cars at the new car show.

Randy Filyaw of Filyaw Unique Creations was one of the many vendors. She and her husband have been making their handbags and woodwork respectively for the past three years, and attending at local events such as the fall festival for five to six years.

While she considered the weather to be slightly hot, especially during the afternoon, and while she thought the event could have been better advertised, nevertheless, Randy considered the festival to have received a good turnout. She loves being able to sell her products in person at such events.

“I like the people coming out and buying our stuff,” she said. “It is easier for them to come out and see it then buying it online. It is easier to sell when you are out in public.”

Main Street Bartow has been partnering with Sunflower Barntiques to host the annual fall event. Overall, this year’sevent experienced a decent turnout with attendees shopping the vendors and downtown shops. Linda Holcolmb, Executive Director of Main Street Bartow, has high expectations moving forward with their upcoming events, including the holiday market in December.

“The turnout has been wonderful,” Holcomb said. “The streets have been packed. The people have been buying, shopping, and the vendors seem to be very happy. We had a full show today.Last year was the first year we were able to do a show after the pandemic. The crowds this year were as good as they were last year. Probably the fact that people were coming to the downtown seeing what we have to offer, shopping in our retail stores, eating in our downtown eateries. I love seeing the community coming out into the downtown.”

For more information about upcoming Main Street Bartow events, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MainStreetBartow

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