Saturday marked the fourth annual Holy Spirit Catholic Church festival in Denver. (Left photo) Church member Terry Middleton cooked up hamburgers for sale at the Knights of Columbus tent. (Right photo) Derrick Bean, 2 Ð…, sat inside a fire engine. Jon Mayhew / LTN Photo
The cool, sunny Saturday weather provided the perfect backdrop for the annual Holy Spirit Catholic Church festival in Denver.
Hundreds flocked to the church grounds on N.C. 16 to enjoy everything from a â€œdino walkâ€ to food and different crafts, like home made bird houses from Denver area resident Ike Proctor.
Proctor has participated in the festival ever since its inception four years ago.
â€œI make birdhouses from the old buildings at the Rock Springs Campground,â€ said Proctor. â€œEvery time a building is torn down, I get the lumber.â€
Proctor sold his handmade houses from $4 – $30 at the festival.
â€œI like messing with wood just like my father and grandfather,â€ said Proctor.
Proctorâ€™s stand was one of 10 paying vendors at the festival this year, down from 17 in 2005.
According to festival organizers Steve and Georgia Beatty, this yearâ€™s festival required the help of nearly 60 volunteers. Planning for the festival started in January.
The event was part of a fund-raising effort that includes bingo every Tuesday night as well as a raffle and a memorial brick program. Proceeds benefit the churchâ€™s activity building.
â€œThat building cost us about $900,000,â€ said Beatty. â€œInstead of getting donations, we decided to do fund-raisers. Up to this point, weâ€™ve raised about $500,000.â€
According to Beatty, the groundbreaking for the new activity center was December 2003. The building was dedicated in September 2005.
Georgia Beatty said the festival actually started as a yard sale the church wanted to have to raise money.
â€œThe idea for a yard sale kept blossoming into the festival we have today,â€ said Beatty.
Beatty added last yearâ€™s festival raised around $6,000.
â€œThat was good money for one dayâ€™s work,â€ she said.
Tucker Dowell, 11, volunteered for the event. He spent the day shooting baskets at the Double Shot stand.
â€œI like meeting new people here,â€ he said. â€œI also like the food.â€
Amy Lester of Denver discovered the event as she was passing the church.
â€œWe saw the sign on the side of the road and decided to come,â€ said Lester. â€œIâ€™m glad they donâ€™t have any loud music.â€
Jackie Romero watched as her 2-and-a-half year old grandson, Derrick Bean, was placed into a fire engine from the East Lincoln Fire Department.
â€œWeâ€™ve been coming since the festival started,â€ she said. â€œDerrick likes to play with balls of any kind. Hand that kid a ball and he likes to throw and hit.â€
Sheri Wilkens of Denver almost missed this yearâ€™s event.
While coming to the event since itâ€™s inception, Wilkins said she learned of the date of the 2006 event through a flyer at the churchâ€™s Tuesday night bingo game.
Her 4-year-old daughter, Sara, remembered the ducks from a past festival.
While there werenâ€™t any ducks at the festival this year, there was plenty of things that caught the childâ€™s eye.
â€œShe really likes riding the ponies and the â€˜dino walkâ€™,â€ said Wilkens.
Reanna Baker, 14, was preparing a pony named Coco to be ridden as part of the festival.
Her mother, Donna, has been providing pony rides every year of the festival.
â€œI actually saved Coco,â€ said Baker. â€œShe was on her way to be dog food. She was very sick.â€
Wilkens daughter was the first to ride Coco on Saturday.
Besides pony rides, food and craft vendors, members of the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office provided a child safety seat check.
Members of the Lake Norman gymnastics team scheduled a demonstration and baked goods were sold.
Bingo at Holy Spirit Catholic Church starts with the early-bird game at 6:30 p.m. followed by the regular game at 7 p.m. every Tuesday night. For more information, call the church at (704) 483-6448.
For more information on Ike Proctorâ€™s birdhouses, call (704) 483-5121.
by Jon Mayhew