Sunday, October 4, 2009



“ Grass Monkey” band

A huge crowd helped to celebrate Roanoke’s fall festival which was held on the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, October 3rd. Tractors could be seen in all shapes and sizes.

"A Country Girl's Dream"

Trailer full of small tractors

There was plenty of good music, but in my opinion, the “Grass Monkey Jambilly Folk Rock Band” was one of the foremost highlights of the festival. The band was led by guitarist and vocalist Spencer McKenna. McKenna, who also played his harmonica, moved the audience, by his performance, to jump up from the hay mounds in which they were sitting, and dance all over the square.

Spencer McKenna

The group played in tight harmony, as though they had been together for countless years. Many people sang along to the lively music and I was surprised and delighted to hear the band play some of the Beatles songs.

For more information about the band go to Phone number is 703-801-1331

Quiet audience sitting on hay mounds soon jumped up and started dancing

Jesse from Riverside Nursery

Mum’s and winter pansys were being sold by Jesse from Riverside Nursery. Riverside has a large nursery located at 2306 W. Riverside Drive, Salem Va. 387-4020. They offer professional landscaping, consultations and garden advice. They stock hundreds of shrubs, fruit trees, ground covers, and even bonsai. .

Dogs or angels?

Dogs of all shapes and sizes were seen as well. Many pet owners decided to dress their pets up for the occasion.

Ben Crooks, left, with helper Gary shown with 260 million year old "Elvis"

Almost everyone who has been down to the market knows Ben Crooks. You may not know him by name but you have seen his large display of fossils. On Saturday he decided to display his Ichsaurous he named “Elvis.” Elvis is 260 million years old and was found in a phosphate mine in North Carolina.

When I asked Ben why he named the Ichsaurous Elvis, in the joking manner that suits him well, he said, “ Because he’s an ancestor of an alligator, and you know, Elvis used to sing “You ain’t nothin but a hound dog, ‘crockin all the time.’ It fits!

Chef Jay from Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Cooperative Extension was there offering a delicious pumpkin soup. The soup, which contained a pumpkin seed in each sampling, was created by chef Jay.

Here is the recipe:

More pictures were taken of my art car, b-dazle, than ever before on the market. I saw visitors placing themselves in-between b-dazle and the “Country Girls Dream” tractor for the ‘best shot’

B-dazle in background next to "Country Girl's Dream" tractor

As to be expected, pumpkins, abounded

Visitors from surrounding areas told me that they were amazed that we had such a beautiful festival once a year. Some asked if that was the only time we were all on the market I was pleased to tell them that we are actually there every day, not just for festivals. The market is especially bustling on Saturdays with activity from farmers, bands, artists, craftsmen, bakers, cheese makers. The list goes on and on. AND, this goes on twelve months a year. Roanoke is the place to be!

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