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Chamber finalizing Ole Brook plans

Ole Brook Festival organizers met Thursday morning to go overlast-minute details for the yearly event, which takes place Sept.14-16.

Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said the meeting was to assign volunteersto jobs for the gala and work through other last-minutearrangements.

“The thrust of the meeting was organizing the volunteers, and goingover last-minute lists and working on other organizationaldetails,” said Brumfield. “We’re pleased and excited to havelast-minute corporate sponsorship come in from the Wal-MartDistribution Center, as well.”

The event, which has premiere sponsorship from the Bank ofBrookhaven, Thrift Home Health Care, and Easthaven Baptist Church,has received exposure all over the southern part of the statethrough various public service announcements aired on radiostations in the area, including national Christian syndicateKLOVE.

“We have utilized KLOVE to reach as far as Baton Rouge to Jacksonto Hattiesburg and south to the coast,” said Brumfield. “And thisyear’s marketing efforts have resulted in our largest responseever.”

He said the “tremendous amount of man hours since January” put inby committee members and volunteers will pay off in a greatfestival. So far the scheduling is ahead of where it was at thesame point in planning last year.

“We’re just ready to move forward, and we’re ahead of schedule withorganizational items and surprised to have just a few booth spacesleft,” he said. “We even created more in expectation of a bigyear.”

Brumfield said as the years pass and the festival progresses, moremanpower is utilized. It actually makes things easier year to year,he said.

“Every year as the festival grows so does the work load, and wehave more volunteers this year than in years past,” he said. “Wealso have a number of volunteers that have stayed with us andeveryone learns something new every year, which actually makes theprocess easier and less hectic.”

Brumfield said vendors waiting until the last minute to purchasebooths need to do it as soon as possible as the spots will soon befull.

“The chamber is asking anyone who is considering buying a boothspace to do so as soon as possible, because we’re anticipatingrunning out of booth spaces,” he said.