Golden Leaf Festival a success

Downtown Business Association member Carol Wilson was pleased with the results of Saturday's fifth annual Golden Leaf Festival downtown.

"I think the festival has gone really well," she said. "We've had really good turnout. The food vendors were busy all day long."

Music by local musicians filled the 500 block of Yampa Avenue as festival goers browsed the many product vendors and sampled the selections of those selling food.

Bonnie Dalton, local Special Olympics coordinator, barely found time to sit down for a funnel cake Saturday afternoon. She stayed busy selling an array of food and drinks to benefit the organization.

The money raised will go toward everyday expenses the athletes have. The Kiwanis Club also raised money for the Olympics, which all goes toward the spring games the club puts on.

At last year's Golden Leaf Festival, Dalton said volunteers made $300. She expects this year's total to be closer to $650. "We did better than I expected," she said. "It has been really good."

Down the street, Avon consultant Nancy Caster had a good day too. "We did really good this morning," she said. "It just started to die down this afternoon."

She had products for sale but also gave away catalogs featuring the business' cosmetics, clothing and accessories. She also had a drawing for a gift basket, where entrants filled in a survey of whether they were interested in learning more about the products. "Even if we get one customer for that, it's a success," Caster said.

A couple of farmers had some success in the Biggest Zucchini and Biggest Tomato contests. Gaylord Flies had the heaviest zucchini, 12.6 pounds, and Shirley Stehle of Hayden brought in the largest tomato, 14 ounces.

Organizers chose to not have a contest to guess the weight of the tomato because there were only two entries. The zucchini contest had seven entries, though, and Judy Langan guessed closest, at 13 pounds. Flies, Stehle and Langan all won $25 gift certificates to The Kitchen Shop.

Wilson gathered Golden Leaf surveys throughout the day to see what attendees liked and wanted improved.

"Music is a hit," Wilson said. "People love coming and hearing live music."

The biggest gripe was the need for more activities, particularly for children. Wilson was surprised to read that one Craig resident most liked visiting the Museum of Northwest Colorado for the first time ever.

"I think we met our goal for a festival that brings people downtown," she said. "It gets people downtown that maybe never come downtown."

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or mperry@craigdailypress.com

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