“We’ve had such a great crowd here this year, and it’s wonderful to have this many people downtown having a good time,” said Ringgold mayor Joe Barger. “I just hope everybody stays cool.”
In addition to the record crowd, record temperatures nearly crept up as citizens braved extreme heat to enjoy the festivities.
“We come to the festival on both days every year, and I don’t remember it every being this hot out here,” said Sandy Herbert of Ringgold. “It’s hot, but we’ve got plenty of water with us, so we’re going to try to stay hydrated and have some fun.”
With everything from food, music, crafts, and contests, there was a little something for everybody at this year’s event.
In addition to the events that took place during the festival, the community was treated to visit to from the fa-mous “Barney Fife” of Mayberry, who rode in the parade and mingled with citizens all day Saturday.
“This year’s festival has really been special,” said Daniel Shepherd, marketing and DDA coordinator for the city of Ringgold. “We’ve had a great turnout, there’s plenty to do and see, and everyone seems to be having a great time.”
This weekend’s festival was a contrast from last year’s, which involved a lot of heavy hearts as it took place in the wake of the devastating tornado that ravaged the city.
“There’s been so much work, cleanup, and change throughout the city since last year’s event. …. It’s really great to see the citizens and the city back running strong again,” said Fort Oglethorpe resident Debbie Sissom. “It’s a great place to be to celebrate Memorial Day.”