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Trenton extends a friendly welcome to 2019 Quilt Festival visitors

By Diane Clifton
In keeping with its motto, “a community of friends,” Trenton embraced visitors attending the 2019 Trenton Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival on Saturday, March 16th. Seventy quilt, craft and antique vendors lined north Main Street. This year most quilt displays were located near the historic railroad depot, the Quilt Museum and The Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe. As Quilt Coordinator Stephanie Metts noted, “People are used to seeing the quilts hung in front of many Main Street businesses, but this year we found it difficult to assure that quilts worth hundreds of dollars would not get damaged, particularly when the weather forecast was problematic.” On this particular Saturday, the festival experienced cloudy skies and a cool north breeze, but escaped rain storms and gusty winds.
The atmosphere was relaxed, leisurely, and very friendly. Crafters offered a variety of handmade wares. Pat Watson, Craft Coordinator said, “We make a deliberate effort to include a wide variety of items and try to include as many people as we can from here in North Central Florida.” As usual quilts and everything associated with quilting dominated the selection, but vendors offered plants, yard art, ceramics, glassware, woodworking, furniture, candles, soaps, jewelry and much more. Food offerings included pizza, Scotch ‘eggs’, ice cream, fried fish and gator tail, hot dogs, tacos, baked goods and more. Free bottled water was provided at the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce and Character Council information booths. The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office and Trenton’s Public Safety Department were on hand for security and brought along a fire truck and souvenirs for children. Pony rides and a goat petting zoo provided further kiddie entertainment. At the Quilt Museum Marie Miller offered her antique quilts for sale, while Annie Talley shared her rug hangings at the Quilt Shoppe. Special quilt displays, and demonstrations were featured at both the Museum and the Depot.
Adding to the fun, North Florida Tractor Club members shared more of their classic tractors than ever before, and delighted in helping visitors understand their machines, and the role they played in advancing farming technology over the years.
Planning for the 2020 festival starts soon. Paul and Stephanie Metts, who founded the festival and have worked tirelessly every year since it began, are retiring this year. The 2020 festival will evolve and adapt as plans get underway. With support from Trenton’s community of friends, we expect Trenton’s festival to be held again next Spring, on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
For more information about the festival, visit us on Facebook, go to the Festival website www.TrentonQuiltFestival.com, or contact the City of Trenton (352) 463-4000.

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