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Portal gearing up for Catface Country Turpentine Festival
Food, crafts, history to be on display Saturday
In this file photo from 2014, Jennifer Alcocer, 10, left, and siblings Kilo, 7, center, and Genesis learn about turpentine production from turpentine expert David King of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College during the annual Catface Turpentine Festival in Portal. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

The Portal Heritage Society will hold its 35th Annual Catface Country Turpentine Festival Saturday, Oct. 1, bringing food, crafts vendors, kiddie rides and a great deal of history for visitors to enjoy.

The day begins with a parade through town at 10 a.m., with Kay Newton as grand marshal. Following the parade, the old E.C. Carter turpentine still will be fired up; the still is one of only three in the state that remains operable.

“There will be food vendors, kiddie rides, arts and crafts, and live entertainment throughout the day,” said Angela Williford, Portal Heritage Society Turpentine Festival board member.

There will also be a mini health fair at the festival site, and a special dedication in the memory of past Portal Heritage Society president, the late Thomas Anderson.

“We have a new pavilion at the grounds” to be dedicated and named for Anderson, said Timothy Cook, Portal Heritage Society president. “He was a past president of the Historical Society and was a big part in (creating) the Centennial Park in Portal. He helped with the Centennial play that was put on by the Portal Heritage Society (in 2008).

“He did a lot for the Portal Heritage Society when he was president and helped make it is what it is today,” he said.

The day will end with a street dance from 7 to 10:30 p.m., with a band from Portal called Rewind, Williford said.

For more information, access Internet website or call (912) 865-2810, or send email to or

According to the group’s website, tee shirts designed by Addie Smith, a student member of the Portal Heritage Society and current 10th grader at Portal Middle High School, are available for purchase through the site.  


Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.





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