By Dani Palmer The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — LAPEL — Tradition drew a crowd this weekend at the 24th annual Lapel Village Fair as residents and visitors checked out the shopping booths, food and games.
Booth coordinator Margo Sink said “it was wall-to-wall people” on Main Street Saturday night after the Doug Anderson concert. Anderson is a nationally known gospel artist who gave a free show to his hometown.
The Lapel Community Association estimated about 4,000 people on the street Saturday evening.
Over the weekend, Sink said they saw about 10,000 people or more. Up from about 8,000 last year.
Tommy and Sabra Gentless brought their 5-year-old daughter, Aurora, to the fair both days. The two have been coming since they were kids themselves.
“It’s the same fair but it’s always a good time,” Sabra said Sunday afternoon.
Aurora and her mom like to stop by the booths and shop, but the little girl’s favorite was the bounce house. The fair, in addition to vacation Bible school, was one of her favorite events of the summer.
Tommy said the fair is nice for the kids and whole family. He’s especially a fan of the food.
“It shows this town still has good values and believes in community,” Sabra said.
She noted some new booths and businesses this year.
Sink said they had nearly 130 booths this year. It’s a number they see on average, she added, with about 25 percent repeat vendors.
Resident Robert White said the fair has seemed a bit smaller in recent years, but is still a good community event.
He always brings his grandchildren, who like the games.
“The littler they are,” he said, “the better they like it.”
Moving to Michigan didn’t stop Jim King from making stops at the Lapel Village Fair.
He’s living near Chesterfield with his family now, but said they’d come back from out of state for it when they could.
“We come over just to see people,” he said, adding they like to catch up with friends from church or school.
Sink said they’ve seen some come from as far away as Texas.
Dance coordinator Lou Whisman said it’s a homecoming of sorts as many come back to their hometown for the weekend.
“It’s a very exciting time for people,” she said. “The kids have a ball.”
And, Sink added, all of the money the organization raises goes back into the community. About $6,000 or more, she said.
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