By Shari Harris, Publisher
Licking Downtown, Inc., will host their Annual Fall Festival, Pickin’ on the Porch, on Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the historic Licking Mill. This year’s festival will host area First Responders, and two musical acts will be Pickin’ on the Porch. The old fashioned quilt turning returns for its second year, and already has more participants. A book giveaway, food and craft vendors, information booths, mill tours and a raffle will also be included in the event.
Appearances are expected from the Licking Fire Department, Licking Police Department (including K-9 officer Atos), Texas County Sheriff’s Department, Texas County Memorial Hospital Ambulance personnel, and 911 Dispatch. The Licking Police Department will offer Child ID fingerprinting from noon to 4 p.m. Children and adults will be able to talk to responders and see some of their equipment and emergency vehicles.
Moonshine Xpress will take the stage, or the porch, as the case may be, at 11 a.m. Storytelling takes the microphone at noon, and Dewayne Turner will be entertaining the crowd with his music at 2 p.m. Storytelling will follow Turner, at around 3 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the shows.
The Old Fashioned Quilt Turning will be at 1 p.m. Area quilters and quilt owners will be showing some of their favorites. It’s not too late if you have a special quilt you’d like to share. Contact Christy Porter at 573-674-2412, or come into The Licking News office before September 10 to register. There is no cost to participate.
Don’t miss the book giveaway by the Licking Branch of the Texas County, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Food vendors this year will have ham and beans, cornbread, coleslaw, baked goods, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones. Craft vendors should be ready by 9 a.m.; it’s a good time to start Christmas shopping. Licking Downtown, Inc., will sell hoodies, t-shirts and aprons to support the mill. A duck pond, face painting and balloons promise to be popular with the kids.
The Texas County Health Department will return with their outreach booth, and TCMH’s Licking Clinic will have a booth as well. Licking VFW Auxiliary is going to have a membership drive, so if you’ve thought about joining, come by and talk to them.
While you’re at the festival, take the time to explore the mill during one of the tours that will take place throughout the day. The first tour is scheduled for 10 a.m. Another Mill Birdhouse, created and donated by Dan Trentham, will be raffled, giving you a chance to win your own miniature replica of the mill. The raffle begins at the fall festival and will end at the Licking Christmas Celebration. Tickets will be $5 each or three for $10. This sturdy Martin house depicts the iconic landmark in amazing detail and is a $250 value.
The Fall Festival is a fundraiser for the Mill. Regular upkeep, combined with infrequent larger expenses like the current painting project, require an ongoing effort to raise funds to maintain the historic building. Future plans include getting the mill grinding and having regional mill tours which would attract visitors to Licking and help sustain the mill. Grants continue to be sought to further assist with upkeep. Donations will be accepted at the Fall Festival and are appreciated, as are all the volunteers who make the event happen.