Carrabelle’s David Lyons, a nuisance trapper with FWC, sits a booth at Saturday’s Carrabelle Riverfront Festival with three alligator skulls, including the one at right, which was from a 12-foot 4-inch animal trapped four years ago at Bay City Lodge west of Apalachicola. Lyons said he gets about 50 calls a year, and that while large gators are dispatched humanely, those under four-feet are relocated to Tate’s Hell. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Carrabelle frolics on its riverfront

From the edge of town to the heart of its waterfront, the city of Carrabelle was ablaze with color and alive with frivolity on Saturday.

The 32nd annual Carrabelle Riverfront Festival drew a hearty crowd and Marine Street lined up and down with vendors.

Lori Dougherty, director of the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce, said the event drew about 80 merchandise and nonprofit vendors, about 12 food and sweets vendors, and about 15 exhibitors on Avenue B.

Preparing to go onstage for the Fishy Fashion Show are, from left: Franklin County fifth graders Kynzli Mullins, as Sponge Bonnet Sue, and Mya Barber, as the Fisherman’s Daughter; along with Brecque Woodke as Netty the Nautical Nymph. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Crowd attendance is always difficult to estimate at a free event, but from all indications it was steady all day.

“I had several people say we easily had over 3000 visitors,” said Dougherty. “ I feel that over the course of the day that’s quite possible, but there’s no way to really know. 

“I feel like the visitors enjoyed themselves,” she said. “It was pretty hot and sticky at times but I saw mostly smiles. Happy shoppers, happy eaters, happy kids bouncing and trainriding. The Soccer Collies also added a different twist, bringing their energy and interaction with our visitors which was a delightful addition.”

Draycen Hicks, 3, fishes for a prize at the festival, accompanied by mom Haley Hicks, from Eastpoint. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The Soccer Collies were a group of rescued Border Collies from Floral City, which provided interactive entertainment in a doggie version of soccer. 

In a newly introduced Kids Coastal Costume Contest, 2-year-old Ivy Wheeler took the top prize, dressed as a mermaid, in the contest for children under age 15. The costume theme was coastal/nautical with suggestions such as mermaids, pirates, sea captains, sea creatures, lifeguards, swimmers, sailors, and more.

Mayor Brenda La Paz, left, and husband Greg Kristofferson stand with mermaid Ivy Wheeler, 2, the winner of the new Kids Coastal Costume Contest. [ Oxendine-Wheeler Family | Contributed ]

The Fishy Fashion Show was again a hit, as the annual show created by Joan Matey showed off the “Dos and Do Knots” of coastal couture, to the musical accompaniment of Susan David on keyboards. Maritime models showed off nautical-themed outfits made from found and recycled materials like sea nets, old beach umbrellas, oyster sacks, sails, sponges, and washed-up debris. 

Melanie Humble looks regal as Marine Antoinette in the Fishy Fashion Show. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Taking part this year was Frank Stephenson, as the Bayside Bachelor; Franklin County fifth graders Kynzli Mullins, as Sponge Bonnet Sue, and Mya Barber, as the Fisherman’s Daughter; Lesley Cox as Business at the Beach; Melanie Humble as Marine Antoinette; Kathy Palmer as the Sea Vamp; Kathleen Oman as Clamity Jane; Rodney Reeves as St. George the Lionfish Slayer; Sally Crown as St. Teresa Beach; Dan Cox as St. James; Brecque Woodke as Netty the Nautical Nymph; and Carol Cox as the Red Tide She Devil.

Sally Crown was awe-inspiring as St. Teresa Beach in the Fishy Fashion Show. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

On the grounds of George Sands Park, the Wandering Star Quilters from Lanark Village debuted a new outdoor show, the “Airing of the Quilts,” an event that drew a lot of interest being held alongside the festival.

Bonnie Renfro, a member of the Wandering Star Quilters, works on a Butterfly Garden quilt, using pieces left her her mom Mabel Heldt. The frame holding the quilt was handed down from her grandmother, and probably dates back to the 1940s. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Musicians who performed throughout the day at the festival included Calen Barber, Cody Barber, Christy and Jess of the Bog Lilies, and Kevin Andrew and the Rockulla Performers, along with dance by the Tallahassee Community College Dance Company and the Dancing Witches.

Carrabelle’s Charlotte Murray, 13 months old, naps on the shoulder of her aunt, Crystal Bridges, originally from Apalachicola. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

“Shout out to so many people who helped and donated time, materials, equipment, and supplies,” said Dougherty. “Definitely a successful Carrabelle team effort.”

Hope Hewes, 3, is all smiles as she takes in the festival with her grandmother Nancy Bomenger, from Massachusetts. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
Kaylee Alford, from Crawfordville. Sits with Sparrow, a standard poodle. Alford operates a mobile pet grooming company that services Franklin and neighboring counties with a complete range of services. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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