Dearing's big day is almost here.
Organizers of the Dearing Mayfest are tying up all of the loose ends before the inaugural festival takes place this Saturday. They hope that thousands of people show up from across the region to support the 100 vendors who will be stationed around the CSRA RESA building drive.
Festival organizers are excited about the potential success of the festival that will raise funds to repair the old Dearing gym and maybe turn it into a community center. But they are also glad to see their town get some recognition.
"We're kind of hoping it will ... start getting some people coming in at least for festival time anyway, and let them see it's a nice little town to live in." said Sean Kelley, one of the festival's organizers.
The festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a parade through town and will continue with local performers beside the old gym. Cookbooks with over 400 Dearing recipes will be sold for $10, and a quilt depicting the town's history will be raffled off.
Also, Miss Allene's Burger Battle will start at noon with judging at 1 p.m. With only about a half-dozen participants registered for the cook off, Mr. Kelley hopes more will sign up in the final days before the festival.
"I had a ton of interest in it when it first came out. Hardly anybody signed up for it though. I was very stunned by that," he said. "We've got some good people in it. ... I've got Mr. Bobby Reeves who is actually Miss Allene's son is in it."
Aside from actual setup, spreading the word about the festival has become a huge project lately. Organizers may have started off with small ideas, but the festival has grown to take on a life of its own in recent months.
"It went from a nice little small festival into a monster all of a sudden," Mr. Kelley said.
But the townsfolk hope that their own version of the Oliver Hardy Festival will help a good cause as well as put Dearing on the map.
"I think it will make all of the people who don't know about us know that we exist," said Dearing Mayor Ralph Menees. "I think they'll be pleased with what they see."