ARAB, Ala. – The 2nd Annual Sugarfest was held Saturday, Sept. 4 at Arab City Park. The festival kicked off at 8 a.m. and lasted until 10 p.m., with many events including the Sugar Rush 5K, Cornhole Tournament, Sugar High Rides and Amusements, Sweetie Pie Kids Area, Sweet Rides Cruise In, food trucks, Arts & Crafts Market, Sugarfest After Dark Concert, Miss Sugarfest Pageant and ending with the Sugar Explosion Firework Show. Grand sponsors of this event were The City of Arab and North Country Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram of Arab, with East Coast Pyrotechnics hosting the firework show.
Arab Mayor Bob Joslin spoke to The Tribune, sharing, “We started this in 2019 and we had a good turnout then. But then 2020 came along so we had to cancel it for 2020, so, we brought it back this year and we have had a great turnout today. The weather could not be better.”
As children were saddled up in ponies for rides alongside the petting zoo, Sugarfest organizer and City Council member Mark Gullion said, “My goal when I got on the City Council in 2016 was to bring fireworks back to the city. We used to have a firework display when I was a kid, and then when I got that approved, they said, ‘Why don’t we tack on a festival?’ and then it just grew and grew and grew.”
Kayla Lefew, with Four Knights Coffee, local to Arab, attended the festival as a vendor and spoke of the festival, saying, “We did this in 2019 and we loved it. We had a great turnout today. This is our third year as an open business. November is our birthday. So, we are definitely getting more comfortable doing pop-ups. We have continued to have great turnouts and we have sold out of all but one of our teas. We plan to keep coming and getting better with every event. Just like this is even better than the first year, in my opinion at least.”
Melissa Cook, vendor coordinator, explained that the process to become a vendor for this event was that it was a juried festival. “They go online to Sugarfest.com, they submit their application and their pictures and then I send it to a jury for approval and if they are approved. They go ahead and get signed up. There is a fee for vendors. It is $75 for regular, $90 for a booth and $20 for electricity. It is absolutely incredible. I only had 42 vendors the first year and I have 102 this year.”
Food trucks lined the fields and sides of the festival with vendors such as Sweet Parad-Ice, Ellie B’s Lemonade, New South Hot Dogs, Level Up, Q&A Concessions, Dippin’ Dots, Old Fashioned Floats, Santa Fe, Dixieland BBQ, J&A Lil New Orleans, Dognation, Sno Biz, Cotton Candy, Little Lu’s BBQ, The Fry Basket, Merle’s Lemonade, Piper & Leaf Tea/Four Knights, Ohana, Spiedies & Sweet Treats, The Nut House, Happi Pappi Beignets, Squeeze The Day and The Nut House.
Wallace Turman with Turman’s Pottery spoke to guests from his booth, over a quickly spinning pottery wheel as he molded clay into shapes before their eyes. He shared with The Tribune, “This is my first year here. I heard about it because I do the Poke Salad Festival in Arab downtown, and some of the guests mentioned to me about the Sugarfest.” He said his turnout had been amazing and he planned to return in future years to come.
Terri Shuttlesworth, the owner of Rebel Rose Boutique, also attended the event with her booth and agreed with the overwhelming opinion that the 2nd Annual 2021 Sugarfest had been a phenomenal success.
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