Gourd Festival 2009

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

With close to eight-hundred people coming through this year's Gourd Festival, it would be hard to believe that the whole event started as a joke. Sure enough, it did.

"The festival was started out of actually a joke. A couple from Kentucky that bought gourds from me wanted to come visit us. Somebody else said, 'Oh, I want to come too', from Arkansas. Somebody else said, 'Oh, I want to come". Somebody else said. 'Well let's have a party'. And the next thing I know someone said, 'Let's have a festival'." Ray Davis, the co-owner of the Gourd Festival explained.

Immediately after this dialogue, Davis started organizing. The turnout was well worth it.

"And the first year about 300 people showed up. I would never have thought they would make it out into the wilderness like this," said Davis.

But the crowd did find their way. They were so pleased with what they discovered, the festival turned into an annual tradition.

"Everybody loved it. They could not believe what people were doing with gourds. They begged me to have it again, so I said, 'Ok, we'll have it again next year'. And so every year there after it's just grown and grown and grown," said Davis.

You'd be amazed at how many items can be made out of a gourd. At the festival you could find everything from a birdhouse to a lamp. Even the mastermind behind the festival was impressed. Mrs. Davis said there is always somthing surprising.

"But it's just amazing what people do with gourds: musical instruments, baskets, bowls, all kinds of things as you can see," boasted Davis.

The hours and days of work behind the creativity is well worth it for Stanley Looman. He has participated in all six of the Gourd Festivals.

"We just enjoy it. We love gourds and it's just fun," smiled Looman.

With cheerful sellers and buyers, that seemed to be the general feeling.

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