GRIFTON – A first fundraiser for the 50th Annual Shad Festival drew hundreds to the Grifton Depot on October 16 for a day of shopping, music, chili and more.
A Chili Bake was the centerpiece of the fundraiser which also included a motorcycle poker race, car show, live music, community garage sale, and vendors.
âWe had 14 participants, the goal was 15 and around 400-500 participants, so I’m happy this is our first,â said Tommy Sugg, Shad festival committee member and one of the organizers of the one event. .
Visitors paid $ 10 for a bracelet to taste each of the peppers and vote for the one they liked best. After the judgment, they could take home pints of their favorite chili.
âPeople loved testing the taste of all the different types of chili,â Sugg said.
The entry fee for the contestants was a big pot of chili. Chuck Smithwick came in first and won an umbrella, two folding beach chairs and a cooler provided by Budweiser. Vendors for the event included Scentsy, Lickety Split Ice Cream, Highway 55, and Drunk Sally LLC, to name a few.
Festival organizers are bracing for a big event after two years without a festival due to the pandemic. The event, famous for its Shad Toss and Shad Stew, had waned in recent years, said Sugg, who served on the committee 20 years ago and returned in 2015. âI was asked to come back and go help and that’s all I did is try to help, âSugg said.
Festival attendance fell to 4,000 attendees but attracted more than 20,000 before the pandemic, he said.
âIt’s not a lot of people, but it’s for this city because we don’t have a lot of population,â Sugg said. âBut we feel that things are progressing. “
Sugg said the town of Grifton is not sponsoring the festival. The committee is a separate and autonomous entity that tries to raise funds to keep the festival going.
Sugg said on a scale of 1 to 10 that Saturday’s event was an eight. But since it was their first time, he should give it a 10, he said.
The committee is currently selling raffle tickets for prizes including a 20 gauge automatic shotgun with carrying case and four chokes, a Panama Jack mini bar (retail $ 1,499), a custom butcher block, a gas grill and more. Tickets cost $ 5 each or five tickets for $ 20. Send an email to [email protected]