Posted: Saturday, June 2nd 2012 at 9:42pm
Spring-like temperatures return for Alto Spring Fling
By Rob Moore
Horse- and mule-drawn wagons participated in Saturday's Alto Spring Fling Festival and Parade. (Photo/Rob Moore)
ALTO – Hundreds turned out in Alto Saturday for the eighth-annual Alto Spring Fling Parade and Festival.
The event kicked off with a parade down Old Gainesville Highway at 11 a.m., featuring emergency vehicles, antique cars and tractors, church entries, political candidates, horse- and mule-drawn wagons, and more.
“This has been the best event we’ve had in eight years – the biggest crowd, the most participation and wonderful weather,” said Alto Mayor Audrey Turner.
Following the parade, booths were open on Grant Street around Alto Town Hall, while antique automobiles were displayed and The Lord’s Messengers, Steve Bryson, and others provided musical entertainment.
“I know we had about 21 vendors,” Turner said. “And a lot of entertainment for the rest of the afternoon.”
Food offerings included barbecue chicken sandwiches, hotdogs, deep friend Oreos, deep fried banana pudding, pinto beans, roasted corn, funnel cakes and more.
New to those exhibiting this year were Jeff Beck and David Beaupre, members of the Georgia Steamers Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes the running of any type of steam engine.
“We’re a club that goes around and runs these engines in different places and different shows,” Beck said. “We also do lectures, go to schools and Cub Scouts and teach kids all about steam – the evolution of the engines, how they work, and what they do today.”
“This is basically how electricity is made today,” Beck said. “Ninety percent of your electricity in the world is made by steam. You have a few hydro plants like Hoover Dam.”
“The Georgia Steamers Association is looking for more members,” Beck said. “We’d like to see more get into the hobby. This is what I played with when I was young – I started in ’64. Christmas of ’64, I got my first steam engine.”
Those interested in learning more about steam engines and their operation may contact the Georgia Steamers Association by email at email@example.com or by phone at (478) 390-8212.
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