• July 25, 2014

End of Summer festival draws families out to beat the heat

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Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013 4:30 am

Families gathered Saturday under the shady pavilion on Second Street, enjoying a brief respite from the heat at the Texas Heritage Committee’s second annual End-of-Summer festival.

Children slurped up snow cones and munched on funnel cakes in between runs on a massive inflatable water slide.

Committee member Michelle Norman, daughter of retired Maj. Rudy Norman, festival chairman and Vietnam veteran, explained the organization’s desire to host the event and donate funds raised for the completion of the Fort Hood Memorial.

“That event affected so many people in the community,” Norman said. “We wanted to turn something negative into a positive.”

The festival’s location helped promote the Green Avenue Farmers Market, held every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday in the same spot. The market’s regular vendors appreciated the additional exposure.

Virginia Kessel, of Virginia’s Garden, offered an array of home-grown herbs, produce and bath products.

“If people make the effort to come down here, I want to provide high-quality goods that you can’t buy in a grocery store,” Kessel said. “I’ve had good luck today.”

Neighboring vendor, HodgePodge Costume and Gift, sold out of candy butter in the first 2½ hours, proprietor Alex Pankratz said. She and her business partner specialize in items ranging from hypoallergenic handmade jewelry and knitwear to spreads made of peanuts, almonds and other ingredients.

Paws Humane Society brought nine dogs available for adoption. By 3 p.m., one had been chosen by its new family, and the society expected more throughout the afternoon, said coordinator Karla Chagle.

Representatives with the Fallen Heroes Project, the Killeen Area Conservatives and Sam’s Club were on site, too.

But the vast majority of attendees were families.

“My son’s been on the slide all day,” Brandie Hiebert said.

Children of all ages ran between the SpongeBob bounce castle and slide, occasionally taking breaks to work on crafts.

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