Open Arms: Business creates mini-festival

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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“It’s just what we do.”
Those were the words of Hillary Herrington that were echoed by her husband, Michael English on Saturday.
The couple, who owns Brewton Bee Garden Center, opened their arms and their property to welcome some local vendors who had planned to be a part of the Alabama Blueberry Festival in Brewton last weekend.
With the threat of serious weather conditions, officials with the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce cancelled the festival in an effort to ensure safety for vendors and visitors to the annual event.
Chamber directors and staff were on hand at Jennings Park Friday filling orders for blueberry ice cream, crunch and cobbler made especially for Saturday’s planned festival.
Herrington said the idea for opening spots for vendors came about rather quickly on Friday.
“Greg (Fleming) had someone reach out to him about possibly setting up here,” Herrington said. “He contacted us and we were more than happy to help. Others made contact and we made the spaces available for them. It’s just what we do.”
English said saying yes to the request was an easy and quick decision.
“We are all about community,” English said. “We do what we can to help where we can. It just seemed like saying yes was the right thing to do.”
Fleming, who was also at the Center on Saturday, was really excited to see it all come together.
“It doesn’t take much to help people sometimes,” Fleming said. “I’m glad those folks were able to be at the Center.”
Five vendors tied to Brewton set up with their items made with the plan to see sales on Saturday. Each vendor was able to display their handicrafts and make a few sales — but less than expected with the large crowd typically seen at the festival.
“We wanted to help them regain some of those sales lost because of the cancellation,” Herrington said. “We were happy to help.”
Herrington said she had visitors at the Center that came for the festival.
“I had a couple from Georgia come in saying they had come for the festival,” Herrington said. “It was nice that they had something to see when they got to Brewton.”
Vendors remained at the Center until weather threatened in the early afternoon hours Saturday.
Brewton Bee Garden Center is located at 209 Mildred Street in Brewton near the Murder Creek bridge.

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