International City Festival gets a political punch

wcrenshaw@macon.comSeptember 28, 2013 

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Perry dance instructor Samantha Heffner leads a performance Saturday with her 3- to 5-year-old students to the tune “I Want to be a Prima Balerina” at the International City Festival in Warner Robins.

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WARNER ROBINS -- Voters may not find a more fun way to get to know local candidates than they had Saturday at the International City Festival.

In a surrounding of music, food and games, just about every candidate on the ballot was there to greet potential voters. Even a group of candidates for union offices at Robins Air Force Base had a booth.

City Council member Carolyn Robbins, who isn’t up for re-election, was there selling raffle tickets for the Downtown Development Authority, which puts on the festival. She said the crowd appeared to be up from last year’s event that drew about 1,000.

She attributed the crowd size to a strong turnout from the candidates, good weather and more vendors.

“I think it’s very important for our city to have events like this where people can get out on beautiful days and meet each other,” she said.

The festival is in its third consecutive year following a long hiatus. Proceeds from it are used to promote the next year’s festival and for projects to help the Commercial Circle area.

Shirlyn Granville, a member of the Downtown Development Authority, said she is pleased with the progress of the festival and the board plans to keep making it bigger. She said more money was put into promoting it this year, and that resulted in more vendors.

“We need to have pride in our city, so we can make our city grow,” she said.

The festival, held in the Commercial Circle area, featured about 50 vendors offering arts and crafts, food and more. David Ragan’s car from his 2012 NASCAR season was there, and the Museum of Aviation brought an F-15 cockpit children could climb into. There was also a new section of games for young people.

Susie King was there with her 11-year-old daughter, Haley, and several of her nieces and nephews. King recently moved to Warner Robins from Jacksonville, Fla., and it was her first time at a community event here.

She said she planned to be back next year.

“I think it’s a nice, clean, family fun thing to do,” she said.

Haley said she most enjoyed the booth of Twelve Oaks Photography, which was taking photos of people, who could then get the photo for free by “Liking” the company on Facebook.

“I think it’s really cool,” Haley said of the festival. “It’s a good way to raise money for the City of Warner Robins.”

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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