Henleyfield First Fall Festival

Published 11:06 pm Saturday, November 3, 2007

The first ever Henleyfield Fall Festival will be held at the Henleyfield Community Center on November 8th through the 10th, 2007 thanks to the committed effort of a non-profit community group to promote the Henleyfield community rightly named Henleyfield.COMmunity.

The organization has a website henleyfield.com to promote community events and keep information flowing about their area.

The proceeds of the three day event will go toward building a 40’ x 60’ pavilion at the Henleyfield Community Center property and to remodel the two existing buildings to make the site usable for every facet of the community life.

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According to the website, Henleyfield is a community of families who value harmony, respect for each other and for God. It is an area of 38 square miles, 700 homes and is 15 minutes northeast of Picayune. Henleyfield borders the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area and has 34,000 acres of protected forests with excellent fishing, hunting, boating and wildlife study.

There have been four different economic cycles in the Henleyfield history. The first being the logging era when the industry dominated the economy until the mid 30’s. Second, came the tung oil trees which lasted until Hurricane Camille in 1969. Thirdly, the cattle farming period followed until the mid 90’s. Presently, the area is rich in mini-farms or hobby farms and home-building.

The Fall Festival begins with a Heritage Day on Thursday, beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. It is a great opportunity to meet neighbors and hear about Henleyfield history. A collection of period photographs will be on display along with a panel discussion at 1:00 p.m. from some of the 80 year-old plus residents and their insight to the past. There is no charge for admission or for lunch. Door prizes will be awarded and the event includes entertainment.

On Friday, the Fall Festival will continue with a Gardening Symposium from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. A personal appearance by Nellie Neal, “Garden Mama” radio personality and author. She will be available to answer garden questions and her book, “Questions and Answers for Deep South Gardeners” will be available for sale and to be autographed. Local, Mark Pastorek, a garden designer and owner of Meadowmakers, a nursery specializing in rare and native plants, will present “Gardening with Wildflowers.” His catalog and seed list will be available as well.

The Garden Symposium will also include a Plant Swap where anyone can bring a clump of their tried and true varieties of plants to trade for something they do not have.

Don’t just bring your favorite plants, but your favorite recipes too; to submit for publication in the Henleyfield Heritage Cookbook which will be published next year.

The big day for the Henleyfield Fall Festival will be Saturday, November 10, Family Day. Young people will be attired in period costumes of early Henleyfield. The day will begin with a Pearl River Ramble 10K Run at 8:00 a.m. Also at that time is a pancake breakfast, followed by a 10-mile Family Bike Ride at 9:00 a.m. The ride is a non competitive 10 mile ride through the rural roads of Henleyfield. Family members of all ages are eligible to ride. A Kid’s Fishing Rodeo is open to ages 6 — 15 years old accompanied by an adult to fish in a Henleyfield pond. Prizes will be awarded. The rodeo continues throughout the day until 2:00 p.m. Registration for the Run, Bike Ride, and fishing are online.

The Family Day will have entertainment begin at 10:00 a.m., antique cars on display, a silent auction and a hamburger/hot dog lunch. There will be a drawing for a Kubota riding lawn mower with a $10 donation for each chance to win. Commemorative items will be on sale all day each day of the Fall Festival event.

Log onto their website for more information about the festival or about Henleyfield. Come celebrate a great community and have a fun day.