Sarah Fletcher takes the individual women’s title.
Sarah Fletcher takes the individual women’s title.

The town of Clay was alive this weekend with what looked like the Apple Festival in the summer. There were local vendors from all around the county selling their wares and demonstrating their craft. There was a Native American exhibit put on by the Osborne family along with the help of friends. They made tomahawks and did some drumming and singing. The Osborne family has some heavy ties to the Cherokee Nation and to Clay County. They put on a drama each year at the Apple Festival to the applause of many fans from all around the country.

There was music and food, and if you left hungry or disappointed it was your own fault. The ones who make the festival happen did a super job. However, the piece de resistance would have to be the Elk River Peddle, Paddle, Run challenge, a brutal 23 mile event where individuals and teams compete. The race consists of a run from the court house to just below the Pierson sawmill. From there, contestants kayak to a point on Elkhurst, grab a bicycle and race back to the high school. This year’s winner in the men’s individual bracket was Dwight W. Schuler from North Carolina and in the co-ed team bracket was Jeremy Bartley with partner Gabby Dobbs. Sarah Fletcher was the individual winner in the women’s bracket, men only team winners were Robert Anderson, Aaron Anderson, and Jeff Beyer. The women only team winners were Erin Bartley and Tina Vanburen.

Congratulations to all the winners. There were some Clay County participants who did very well against a tough field of fellow athletes. It was a great festival even though attendance was down a little, but the festivities were rocking. From the Duck Dynasty lookalike contest to sidewalk art, if you missed it, you missed a great time.