• 66°

Ole Brook a success despite a little rain

DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Alli Ferguson, 8, of Brookhaven hangs on for a ride on the mechanical bull in the Ole Brook Festival kids' area.

DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Alli Ferguson, 8, of Brookhaven hangs on for a ride on the mechanical bull in the Ole Brook Festival kids’ area.

The Ole Brook Festival had more of everything this year in food, fun and games, and even though a deluge of rain came through early in the afternoon, it only added to more of the fun.

Marketing director for the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and festival organizer Kay Burton said the chamber met its goals with this year’s festival – more of everything.

The first goal of course was to get as many people coming into downtown as possible, Burton said.

“We guessed there were around 8,000 people out today,” she said, “everywhere you looked it was stacked with people. That one of the big things that was notable over last year.”

She said to do that though, they planned this year’s event to have a greater variety of attractions and more vendors for food, games, retail and entertainment.

“There was just more of everything,” she said. “More people came out for the event this year, than I think ever before. But, I think that’s because our goal this year was more of something for everyone.

“We increased the number and variety of activities, entertainment and vendors, we had more food vendors to appeal to more people. We wanted it to not just be a flea market, not just a crafts market, and not just a little entertainment and a couple of jumpers.”

The festival started early Saturday morning with a crowd of women adorned in pink for the Mississippi Girls For a Cure 5K Walk.

Participants were doused with pink color as they crossed the finish line.

Games and jumpers went up, and visitors came into town under a hot October sun. But, as the day progressed, the sun became off and on, and around 1 p.m. the dark clouds loomed over downtown. Then, a heavy downpour put everything on pause. But the blue skies quickly followed.

Burton said the showers may have even been a boon to the afternoon.

“The rain kind of just cooled everything off, and everyone kept right on going,” she said. “The crowd was a little dampened, but we finished all the activities, and the vendors all stayed – many vendors were still doing business after five. No one wanted to leave.”

Burton said the festival was a great success, and she credited the volunteers who helped her and other chamber members pull off the big event.

“We had about a hundred volunteers,” Burton said. “Without our teams of volunteers from King’s Daughters Medical Center, Walmart, Trustmark Bank, Reed’s Metals and Co-Lin, the festival simply would not have been possible.

“To me it shows the sense of community we have in Brookhaven, because they came out, gave their time, and worked so hard so we could have a great event for everyone to come out to.”