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Turpentine Festival set for this Saturday, Sunday

Parade to kick off annual event at 10 a.m. Saturday

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Turpentine Festival set for this Saturday, Sunday

Portal's Catface Turpentine Festival is set to begin with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday. The festival continues all day Saturday and Sunday.

    One of the region's most popular fall festival will take place this weekend: Portal's 28th Annual Catface Country Turpentine Festival will kick off Saturday with a parade, and the fun will roll over to Sunday, offering visitors two full days of music, great food, fun and more.
     The term "catface" arose many years ago from the slash marks resembling a cat's whiskers which were cut into the trunks of pine trees by turpentine workers in order to gather sap for the processing of turpentine, said Portal Heritage Society member Edie Stanley. The festival is sponsored by the  Portal Heritage Society, Inc., and the Town of Portal.
    The two-day festival is held annually in recognition of the town's historical association with the turpentine industry, she said. "It is a time for families to relax and enjoy the autumn weather, meet new friends, and get reacquainted with some old ones. It's something that the community looks forward to each year."
    The fun begins with a parade Saturday morning, Oct. 3, beginning at 10 a.m. at Portal Middle/High School and proceed east on U. S.  80 through downtown Portal.
    Afterward, the turpentine festival grounds, located a few blocks from downtown, will open to visitors. There is no admission fee for the festival.
    The Turpentine Festival offers something for everyone —  educational exhibits, a variety of arts and crafts, kiddie rides and games for all ages, including horseshoes, a cake walk, and a variety of musical performances.
    Hungry? Visitors will have their choice of barbecue sandwiches, chicken dinners, funnel cakes, hamburgers, hot dogs, Italian ice, bottled water, soft drinks, sweet tea, lemonade, and the "festival-famous rosin-cooked potatoes," Stanley said.
    Organizers emphasize, however, that alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited for sale or consumption during the festival, which is a family-oriented event.
    "Visitors can learn more about the history of the turpentine industry, and bottles of old-fashioned turpentine  will be available for purchase," she said.
    The Variations, a popular band featuring beach and classic music, will perform Saturday night for the street dance near the still location.
    The festival will reopen  Sunday, October 4, at 1 p. m. when visitor"once again can enjoy good food, lots of crafts, rides, and games. Sunday's musical entertainment will be provided by various gospel singers," she said.
    The festival will conclude at 5 p.m. on Sunday. For additional information, contact Portal Heritage Society members Jerry Lanigan (912-865-2810) or Edie Stanley (912-865-4519).

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