Festival to salute area businesses.

MITCHELL — It may have taken 68 years, but Mitchell’s businesses will finally be honored as a part of the Persimmon Festival.

As chairwoman of the 68th annual Persimmon Festival, Christina Lambton decided to dedicate her festival to the businesses that have long supported the small community. This year’s theme is “Shop Local, Buy Mitchell.”

“I wanted to salute our local businesses because, in a small town, our local businesses are vital,” Lambton said. “They sponsor sports teams, support our fundraisers, employ our people, and they’re your friends and neighbors.”

The theme doesn’t single out small businesses or locally owned businesses because, as Lambton points out, Lehigh Cement Co. is as important to Mitchell as Holmes Hardware.

“It’s a theme that I don’t think, from looking through the past themes in the festival booklet, has ever been done,” Lambton said. Past festival themes have saluted veterans and the military, education, youth, volunteers, the city’s heritage and the space program, but it appears none solely focused on the Mitchell businesses that have been instrumental in making the festival a success, Lambton noted.

“Look at Holmes Hardware, for one,” Lambton said. “It was started in 1887 and has been operated continuously by the same family since that time. I don’t think it’s possible to count how many Little League teams, fundraisers or other community projects Holmes Hardware, and the dozens of others like it, have supported throughout the years.”

Lambton is still undecided as to how the theme will be represented in terms of the grand marshals of the parade, but believes she’ll probably ask a sampling of business people to serve in that capacity.

The festival

This year’s festival will be Sept. 20-27 with the Main Street activities kicking off Sept. 22. Assisting Lambton with the festival this year are two co-chairmen, Teresa Reynolds and Henry Shetler. Gary Rayhill will again serve as the parade chairman.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Teresa and Gary again, and with Henry, who is our newest festival co-chairman,” Lambton said.

Already, the schedule is set for the festival, which always takes place during the last full week of September. Annual favorites, such as the Wray Bros., Building Nations and the Endless Summer Band, will again perform. This year, Jake Dodds & Stagecoach Revolver, a modern country band out of Bloomington, will take the stage Wednesday night. On Saturday night, Rusty Bladen will perform for visitors.

Article courtesy of the Times-Mail.

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