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Quilt Festival draws visitors

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Starting with a cool overcast morning, and concluding in a bright sunny afternoon, the Eighth Annual Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival, March 21, 2015, was bigger and better than ever before.  Featuring 79 craft and food merchants, 20 quilt groups and numerous demonstrations, festival visitors enjoyed a special spring outdoor treat on Main Street.

New this year were special  exhibits in the Florida Quilt Museum and new quilt display stands, built by students at Trenton High School, that allowed for up close inspection of quilting magic.  Live entertainment (by Dave and Friends and the Suwannee River Sweethearts at the Depot, Pete Enroe near the Journal office, and John Orlando at City Hall), children’s rides, classic tractors and cars, food and dancing, all added to the enjoyment.  Casually sauntering up and down Main Street, visitors experienced a relaxing atmosphere full of amazing color and quilting excellence.

Also adding to the festival experience this year were more colorful quilt blocks. At the heart of the Florida Quilt Trail, Trenton is proud to now showcase twelve quilt blocks painted by artist Janet Moses and Trenton’s own Kathy Sausen.

Debbie Destin, owner of Destin’s Dance Studio, talked to visitors from England and Australia who remarked on the Maypole Dance they witnessed at the festival, an event they had not seen in many years. Antique and craft sellers commented that shoppers this year seemed to be looking for different things from those who visited last year, and that sales were good.

Local restaurants, such as Hobo’s, Cherry’s and the Suwannee Rose Cafe, had waiting lines at the peak lunch hour, but were well prepared to serve guests. Servers at all of the local eateries hustled throughout the day to provide festival visitors with their offerings supplemented by nine festival food providers.  Jeff Cherry, owner of Cherry’s Seafood and Steaks on Main Street, commented, “I met a lot of good people-both from the festival staff and the new customers who came in today.  This was my first year so I learned a lot about what to expect.  I plan to become more involved in the festival next year.”

Event executive director Pat Watson, and Trenton city manager, Taylor Brown, both commented that the festival ran very smoothly this year. As always visitor, merchant and quilters’ suggestions will be considered in making improvements for next year’s festival.

Festival founder and quilt coordinator Stephanie Metts was very happy to see growing community support. “The Festival would not be possible without the many volunteers who generously give so many hours,” she said. She observed that more help would be needed as the Festival continues to grow. Stephanie, who worked very hard to overcome serious injuries sustained last year, was once again fully engaged in the festival.

The Ninth Annual Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival, Florida’s only outdoor quilt show and sale, will be held Saturday, March 19, 2016.

For more information about the festival, visit us on Facebook, go to the festival website www.TrentonQuiltFestival.com, or contact the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe, (352) 463-3842 or Pat Watson, (352) 494-9913.

By Diane Clifton

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