Sept. 19, 2020 was a day that many folks had looked forward to for a whole year. It would have been the Saturday they could have spent the entire day enjoying the sights, smells and delicious food at the Flat Rock Creek Fall Festival, held annually the third weekend of September at the fairgrounds.

But because of the threat the COVID-19 virus still posed in the county, the Festival was canceled this year. However, that didn’t stop some of the local vendors from selling their wares throughout the county. “We wanted to help many of the non-profit groups earn some money,” said Guy Dasher, president of the Flat Rock Creek Fall Festival committee. “They depend on the Festival to make a good share of their funds for the year, and we wanted to do what we could to help them out.”

Dasher said about 10,000 people normally come through the gates each year at the three-day Festival, and losing that many customers was devastating to the local groups. Many of the food vendors are Boy Scout troops, churches, sports clubs and other non-profit organizations.

Members of the committee came up with a plan for the non-profits to sell food in various locations throughout the county. The Black Swamp Community Cruise featured a total of 14 vendors in four communities. The event lasted from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and at least two types of food were offered at each location. “Each group made an average of about a thousand dollars,” Dasher said. “They were all very pleased with the turn-out. Bringing in that amount of money for the county is great. It was a great opportunity for families and friends to get together without coming into close contact with one another. It was a win-win for everyone involved.”

Delicious treats such as curly fries, corn on the cob, deep-fried cookies, corn dogs and beverages were offered in Antwerp. At the fairgrounds in Paulding, groups sold sausage sandwiches, mac and cheese, pulled pork or brat sandwiches, chili, caramel apples and other goodies. Grover Hill’s Welcome Park was the spot for pork-on-a-stick and homemade ice cream, and a trip to Oakwood was well worth the drive for tacos-in-a-bag, pulled pork, mac and cheese, apple crisp, apple dumplings, and cherry cobbler.

In addition to helping the non-profit groups earn some money, the three sponsoring organizations – the Flat Rock committee, John Paulding Historical Society and the Paulding County Agricultural Society (the fair board) each made about $1,000. A drawing for a $2,500 cash prize was won by Gena Sheets, and a gas grill, donated by Paulding Ace Hardware, was won by Ronny Crone.

“We want to thank everyone who supported the event, our sponsors and the non-profit groups who participated for making this a huge success,” Dasher concluded. “The whole county came together to make this happen and to help out the groups.”