Bubbling fun

ROMNEY — Crowds were enthusiastic and larger than ever for both the arts and music festival held in Romney Saturday and the Ducks on the South Branch fundraiser Sunday.

“Loved it, hope it gets bigger,” was one of the comments on cards from festival-goers.

The 2nd annual Hampshire Highlands Arts and Music Festival filled South High Street Saturday with 18 artisans’ booths, 7 nonprofits, food sales, musicians in the gazebo outside Taggart Hall, a puppet show, a glass-blowing demonstration and 500 to 600 visitors.

On Sunday at Riverview Farm, the 5th annual Ducks on the South Branch rubber duck race drew a crowd nearly twice the size of last year’s.

Judy Householder won the $500 first prize when her duck was the 1st of 1,100 to cross the finish line in a race that saw kids and grown-ups alike wading into the warm waters of the South Branch to corral errant entrants.

The afternoon featured a sing-along with the Ukulele Club, more food and plenty of sunshine.

“Did we enjoy ourselves? Yes, most assuredly,” said Joanne Snead, one of the organizers for both events.

The festival was the work of the Hampshire County Arts Council. The duck race was a benefit of the Co-op, which is home to much of the arts community in Romney.

The festival had a twofold purpose: to introduce people to the arts and to promote recycling. Even the donation containers were introductions to great artists like Dali, van Gogh and Monet.

The puppet show had a theme about recycling and make-your-own stations were filled with projects that reused materials. Instead of balloons, giant bubbles were present.  

As for the duck races Sunday, Snead said, “All in all, it was a really fun, friendly way to end a great weekend of activities.”

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