LOWELL-Two days of great weather resulted in a well-attended 27th annual Lowell Springfest this weekend as festival-goers traveled to Buell Island where around 50 vendors had a wide variety of wares on display.
Fundraisers were also part of the festivities, according to Lowell Mayor David Pitzer.
“We’ve had a 50/50 drawing, country store, and raffle-with all the proceeds going to help support the town of Lowell and the Lowell swimming pool which will be opening later this spring,” he said. “And Steve Howard is grinding bags of corn meal with his tractor-powered mill and offering the corn meal to anyone for a donation to help rebuild the schoolhouse.”
The one-room Strait Run School, built in the mid 1800s, was relocated to the island in the 1990s as one of Lowell’s most historic buildings. But the school was heavily damaged when a tree fell onto the structure during the derecho windstorm that struck the area in June 2012.
“The repairs will cost around $19,000,” Howard said. “Some money has been raised, but more will be needed. So we’re grinding corn meal and giving it away for contributions to the project.”
Pitzer said the turnout for this year’s Springfest was better than the 2012 event.
“Sunday was pretty rainy and colder last year,” he said. “But this year we’ve had two days of good weather, and we’ve had a lot of people attending and carrying away items they’ve bought from the vendors.”
Three-year-old Leham Lincoln and his brother, Jahvid Lincoln, 2, of Belpre were among those who found a bargain at the Springfest. Leham was carrying a large red toy truck, while Jahvid toted a smaller vehicle with an action figure on board.
“They just couldn’t live without them,” joked mom Sabrina Luttrell.
Dad David Lincoln said this was the family’s first visit to the Springfest.
“It’s great-kind of like a big outdoor flea market,” he said.
An array of metal sculptures, brought to the Springfest by Larry Smith of Lancaster, seemed to be a hit with the festival-goers.
“We call them metal arts and crafts for home and garden,” Smith said. “I’ve been doing this for about a year and a half-but my nephew, Dave Anders, started working with it around 15 years ago. He and his wife, Tammy, developed it into a business-Colonial Wagon and Wheel in Lancaster.”
The figures on display at Springfest Sunday ranged from a six-inch-high “crab” made out of recycled forks and spoons to a 10-foot-high “praying mantis” made of heavy-duty welded metal rods.
The mantis was purchased by Jessica Albrecht of Marietta.
“It’s for my mom, Tina-she’s a science teacher at Frontier High,” Albrecht explained.
Nearby Tom and Diane Wayne from Mineral Wells, W.Va., had a variety of items, spread across several tables, for sale.
“This is just a part time thing for us. We’re retired, and it keeps us busy,” Tom said. “We have kitchen ware, toys, clothes, and other items-We’ve found the more variety we have, the more items we can sell.”
Sue Ivan and her sister, Vickie Henderson, both of Parkersburg, are 10-year veterans among the Springfest vendors.
“We sell books, jewelry and some crafts,” Henderson said. “We especially like Lowell’s Octoberfest every fall. There’s always plenty of food and we meet a lot of other vendors.”
Ivan said proceeds from their sales will go to a good cause.
“This is how we make money for our vacation every year,” she said.