Visitors 'chill' out at festival

Published 12:56 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
Brisk weather that cooled Atmore down last week hung around Saturday creating the perfect setting for the 16th annual Williams Station Day.
The annual event sponsored by the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce pays tribute to the city's rich heritage as it was developed around the railroad.
"It was a fabulous weekend," Chamber executive director Emilie Mims said. "The weather could not have been any better with the exception of the wind early in the morning."
With a cold, steady breeze blowing, Chuck Stevens Chevrolet owner Chuck Stevens got the event started by singing the National Anthem while member of the NJROTC raised the American Flag. Chamber president Nancy Helton followed with an invocation. Mayor Howard Shell then read a proclamation signed by the Atmore City Council recognizing last Saturday as Williams Station Day in the city. Mims later offered her appreciation to everyone in attendance including corporate sponsor United Bank and festival sponsors Chuck Stevens Chevrolet, Masland Carpets and Rugs, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union, Frontier, Diamond Food Marts and the Atmore Leadership Class of 2004.
Following the opening ceremonies, a wide variety of entertainment took to the main stage throughout the day including headliner Microwave Dave &the Nukes, Southern Pride, Roy Harper, Southern Blend, Andrews Sisters-USO Show sponsored by The Atmore Advance and Scott Slay and the Northview High School guitar ensemble.
"I feel like it was great day," Helton said. "Overall we had a great crowd. People seemed to enjoy the wide variety of entertainment. The vendors said that they had a good day and were real pleased. Some of them were new and did not know about our patrons program and thought that was a great idea."
Mims agreed, stating that she received numerous compliments about this year's Williams Station Day despite one hiccup. Mims received a call late Friday afternoon informing her that the Alabama &Gulf Coast static display train had had mechanical problems and would not be able to make the event. Despite the glitch, she said the consensus was pleased.
"We received rave reviews from the artists and from visitors," she said. "I think this one was every bit as good as the other Williams Station Days in the past, if not better. Of course we had the snafu with the static train canceling because of an equipment breakdown, but people weren't angry about it, they were very understanding. It did not turn out to be an issue."
Helton added that she had met several people from out of town, not just from Alabama, but also from places such as Houston, Texas and New Hampshire who visited the festival for the first time.
Mims said she would like to thank the many volunteers that helped make Williams Station Day 2007 a success. Those volunteers include, Chuck Stevens and Sharon Smith, MCs; the Atmore Garden Club, memorabilia booth; Atmore Women's Club, Chamber information booth; Keith Castleberry, entertainment; Nancy Helton, finances; Mark Clayton, Williams Station Day hayride; Jerry Gehman, Alabama &Gulf Coast static display; Lisa and Steve Reynolds, Cane Mill; Allen Walston, food vendors; Dan Currie, model train show; Sharon Delmar, Poarch Creek Indian cultural display; the employees of United Bank, hospitality breakfast tent; the Atmore Area YMCA; The First National Bank &Trust, fiddler's tent; Cathy McKinley of the Atmore Public Library, storytelling tent; The Atmore Advance, Andrews Sisters-USO Show; Central Farm Supply, pumpkin painting and carving contest; "Atmore News," Remembering Atmore Photography Contest; First United Methodist Church, electricity; Janet Allen; Chamber Ambassadors; Youth Leadership Atmore; Homeschooled Kids &Co.; Grace Fellowship, residents of Pensacola Avenue and the many other volunteers that help make the event possible.

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