Businesses come together for Fall Festival


Cassie Buchman

Sharon Hunter, owner of 18th St. Garden Stop, sells flowers to a couple of customers at the 18th Street Fall Festival on Saturday afternoon. Hunter said the business was “super busy” at the festival, and it is exciting to see people supporting local businesses.

Cassie Buchman, Editor in Chief

All along 18th Street, customers perused items as local businesses and shops showed their wares at the annual Fall Festival.

Sharon Hunter, owner of the 18th St. Garden Shop, smiled as she served customers and watched children play with the sand she had set up for them.

Saturday’s festival was “super busy” for her, with about a couple hundred people coming into the store.

Hunter said mums and pumpkins had been particularly popular at the festival, with the coming of the autumn season.

“It’s been fun,” Hunter said.

She added she was excited to see people support and shop at local businesses.

The same customers come back every year, giving Hunter the chance to build relationships with them.

“They become friends, too,” she said.

Kurt Finney, of Finney’s Personalized Logs in Martinsville, set up his stand on 18th Street with the name plates, bears, owls, snowmen, bunny rabbits and scarecrows he and his son create in his garage.

Though they arrived to the Fall Festival with all the scarecrows they had, only one was left at the end of the day.

“I’ve had a really good turnout today,” Finney said.

Finney started his wood carving business six years ago, after his son bought a house and decided he wanted a log with his name on it to decorate.

“We started making them, everybody wanted one, so we decided to start charging and it just went from there,” Finney said.

He said since then, the business has “grown out of control.”

“It’s pretty nice; it means people like what you’re doing, they like your work,” Finney said.

Cassie Buchmann
Kurt Finney, of Finney’s Personalized Logs in Martinsville, sits outside of his stand at the 18th Street Fall Festival on Saturday afternoon.
Along with name plates, Finney also makes little bears, owls, snowmen, bunny rabbits and scarecrows out of wood.
He said one of his favorite parts of working at Finney’s Personalized Logs is that he gets to work with his son. “Not too many people get to do that,” he said.

Finney came to the Fall Festival with his daughter, wife, grandsons and granddaughters.

Working with his son is Finney’s favorite part of working at Finney’s Personalized Logs.

“Not too many people get to do that,” he said. “We’re just like best buddies.”

Charleston resident Deb Longcor had a jewelry and flea-market booth next to her husband’s Kettle corn stand.

The toys for the flea market, Longcor gets from rummage sales, or her grandchildren’s old toys, cleaning them up before she sells them.

The jewelry Longcor makes herself, something she has been doing since she was 14.

“It’s a type of therapy— it keeps me out of the psychiatrist’s office,” she said, laughing.

Growing up, Longcor said she always wanted to be an artist, so designing and selling her own jewelry gives her the chance to do so.

She never thought she would be making money off creating jewelry, so being able to do so at events such as the Fall Festival feels good, Longcor said.

“Today’s been good,” she said. “We’ve had somewhere between 100 and 200 (people,) had a lot of lookers, a lot of buyers. We’d definitely do it again next year if we can.”

Amanda Hinen came up from St. Joseph to participate in the Fall Festival with a LulaRoe stand outside of Myerscough Automotive, selling different articles of clothing.

During the Fall Festival, Hinen said there was a lot of foot traffic, and generally, the people who came to her stand bought something.

Hinen said being a part of the business venture has allowed her to stay home with her baby.

Her husband is in the army, working long hours on a fixed income and there have been other financial hardships in Hinen’s life, including some deaths in the family and the family home in North Carolina being ruined in a hurricane last year.

Hinen said being a part of this business venture helps out some with these issues.

“It’s not something I’m becoming a millionaire on, but it’s buying groceries when I run out of money, and keeping us above water,” she said.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]