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Depot Days

Crowded festival brings Depot Days to huge climax Saturday

Clif Knight

Hartselle Enquirer


Favorable weather, fun-filled children’s rides and a record number of merchandise vendors resulted in one of Hartselle’s biggest and most successful Depot Days festivals in the event’s 35-year history on Saturday.

Other festival events, which were held outside of the central business district, also attracted widespread interest and participation. Hartselle Kiwanis Club’s half marathon had 200 runners. A highlight of the car show was the showing of a 1948 Keller Super Cbief station wagon. The vehicle was one of 19 manufactured in Huntsville by the Keller Motor Co. after World War II. The late Hubert Mitchell of Hartselle was a co-founder of the company.

The same number attended two College Street Players re-enactments of the infamous 1926 Hartselle Bank Robbery at Hartselle Fine Arts Center.

Antique and classic cars filled all of the parking space at Hartselle First United Church and spilled out into the streets. At 10 a.m., 160 cars had been checked in.

The antique tractor show had 50 participants. In addition, four early 1900 farm engines were shown.

Many of the estimated 10,000 festival goers took a break under the big Hartselle Enquirer tent to listen to and be entertained by eight separate musical groups.

The temperature had climbed into the high 80s under sunny skies by mid-morning, and brought on a big demand for Jonathan Miller’s homemade ice cream.

“Ice cream sells good when it’s this hot,” Miller stated. “We may sell out before the end of the day.”

“We mix it in a five gallon container and use a gas-driven motor to turn it,” he added. “After its is done, we place it in a freezer to keep it firm.”

“Today has been wonderful,”said Susan Hines, Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce director. “The weather  has been ideal and everybody seems to be having a good time shopping with the vendors and downtown  businesses.”

“We have lots of people in town,’’ she added. “The way I judge attendance  is to look down and see how much pavement I can see. It‘s noon and I don’t see much pavement. The people have most of it covered.