SUN PHOTO/PAT COPELAND
Snowbird, aka Mady Iseman, puts a red nose
on Camden Dempsy at the Historical Society's
Heritage Day Festival Saturday.
ANNA MARIA – Hundreds of visitors took advantage of the first bright, sunny day in weeks on Saturday to enjoy the Historical Society’s annual Heritage Day Festival.
“We had fabulous weather and an overwhelming crowd,” AMIHS Director Betty Yanger said. “We are ecstatic.”
Visitors roamed the grounds of the museum complex to visit booths featuring artwork, woodcarvings, antiques and collectibles and jewelry. Volunteers at the AMIHS booth selling museum gifts shop items such as T-shirts, mugs, jewelry, Early Settler’s Bread and Carolyne Norwood’s Island history, “The Early Days,” reported that they “flew off the shelves.”
Clowns Snowbird and Sparky, aka Mady Iseman and Betty Palsgrove, were one of the most the most popular attractions of the day as they walked through the crowd blowing bubbles, putting red noses on people’s faces, making balloon animals for children and leaving broad smiles in their wake.
Rangers from De Soto National Memorial were kept busy telling about the park and its offerings and its Junior Ranger program, through which kids can earn a Junior Ranger Badge by completing a list of activities in the park. Crowds watched as Betsy Smith showed how to weave palm fronds and make pine needle baskets.
Barry and Dantia Gould, of the Island’s Rotary Club, explained the Rotary’s Wheel of Hope to those passing through the Belle Haven garden. The purchase of a $50 space on the wheel will give the donor a chance to win the use of a vacation home outside of Key West for seven days, while the money will purchase 700 meals for those devastated by the earthquake in Haiti.
Booths offering kettle corn, ice cream, zucchini fritters, zepple, hot dogs and boiled peanuts were popular with festival-goers and many stopped to purchase tickets to win the Community Center’s Tour of Homes quilt.
The Historical Society did a brisk business at its raffle booth offering two baskets loaded with gift certificates from Island businesses and restaurants and gifts from the Historical Society’s gift shop. The lucky winners were Donna Misner and Margie Thompson.
Heritage Day chair Melissa Williams reported that the Historical Society made nearly $4,000 on the event, which will be used to further its mission of preserving Island history.