CAMDEN — During a Thursday, Oct. 6, Camden Village Council meeting, council received updates from Camden Comeback spokesperson Debbie Mason regarding the Black Walnut Festival, and from Rob Jarrell, CEO of MedShip, regarding the company’s construction progress thus far.
“I just want to say, I’m incredibly impressed with what five people can pull together. Our group amazes me every time we do an event, but the Black Walnut Festival just keeps getting bigger and bigger now that we’re doing it,” said Mason.
According to Mason, there will be a total of 175 vendors spaces, with 145 spaces filled, 23 of which will be selling food. There are 66 new vendors participating in the festival this year, including vendors from five states.
Mason added, the Black Walnut Festival is sponsored by 41 different organizations and businesses this year. Mason also took a moment to publicly thank the representatives of Medship for being the festival’s “biggest sponsor this year,” and village council for sponsoring the kid zone.
Mason noted there will be live entertainment throughout the festival, with the main event featuring Jay Jesse Johnson from 5:30-7 p.m. Mason noted, the car show has generated community interest as well.
“This year our goals were much higher. We wanted more people, we wanted more vendors, we wanted more new vendors, more food trucks, and a whole lot more sponsor money and donations. And so we worked really hard to make all of that happen,” Mason said.
The Black Walnut Festival will take place in Camden beginning Saturday, Oct. 15, and will end Sunday, Oct 16.
Jarrell also addressed council concerning the progression of Medship’s construction plans in Camden. “We’re running out of space down at the Dover, but that’s a great problem to have,” he said of the company’s temporary offices.
Jarrell presented council with building designs for the anticipated Medship headquarters in the early stages of development, explaining they have increased the size of their warehouse and therefore eliminated several parking spaces they intended to have. According to Jarrell, the warehouse in the rear of the structure will be 4,700 square feet. The Jarrells have purposely designed the building to fit the tone of Camden, modelling its cosmetics to match that of existing buildings within the village.
Jarrell also presented a plan to demolish two abandoned buildings across from the Tech Center building location, building instead a large parking lot which could be used by the community “during business hours.” Jarrell expressed that this area could be a useful addition to all businesses downtown. He also noted it could be used for community events in the future, such as the carnival and Black Walnut Festival.
Council was favorable to Medship’s building plans, as well as the potential parking lot open to community use.
Camden Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.