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Hartselle Enquirer

Record-setting Depot Days

Thousands fill downtown Hartselle for the 31st annual Depot Days. | Richard Hollingsworth

Hartselle’s 31st annual Depot Days festival attracted more merchandise vendors and antique and classic cars, trucks and bikes than at anytime in its history and also enjoyed one of its largest crowds as the week-long celebration reached its climax on Saturday.

“We had nowhere else to put vendors or cars,” said Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce president Susan Hines. “That’s a good thing to have, and we may be looking for additional space next year.”

“My estimate is we had about 200 vendors, and show cars spilled over the Methodist Church parking lots, down the hill on Hickory Street almost to the railroad tracks,” she pointed out.

“We had great weather and I was very pleased with the way things turned out,” she added.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley said, “I think the crowd was one of the biggest I’ve seen at Depot Days.

New attractions also helped raise the level of interest and participation. The children’s rides and games area had swings that towered above the ground and enabled their riders to perform stunts and them moved up and down. Another popular new attraction was the Jubilee Petting Farm and pony rides from Opelika. Pets included geese, pigs, goats and rabbits.

Back after a two-year absence was the popular rib eye steak sandwiches, grilled and served by the Morgan County Cattlemen’s Association.

The Depot Days 5K run attracted about 75 runners, a smaller number than in recent years, but the weather was ideal for running and the competition was stiff.

Dennis Eaton of Hartselle, a seven-time winner in the race, came in first with a time of 18:02. Several others finished with times under 20 minutes. The first place female runner was Caley Whittemore of Cullman with a time of 21:23.

A large crowd enjoys the music at the Hartselle Enquirer stage at the Depot Days festival. | Richard Hollingsworth

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