Village of Camden pledges $12.5k to help fund 2021 Black Walnut Festival

By Anthony Baker -

CAMDEN — Village Council voted to spend $12,500 to help fund this year’s Black Walnut Festival during its regular bi-monthly meeting Thursday, Aug. 5.

Camden Comeback representative Debbie Mason previously addressed council about the festival, which will take place the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 16, during its July 1 meeting. The event is set to include a car show in the Camden Primary School parking lot, a Kiddie Tractor Pull, a parade, and a baking contest, as well as spots for 75 vendors, including a face-painting booth and a chainsaw artist.

In addition, “haunted tours” of Camden Town Hall and other historic locations will be conducted on Friday and Saturday night, and a beer garden will be available from 1-9 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

“This event promotes tourism, and it showcases our community beautifully,” Doran said.

Though the festival is typically funded entirely by Camden Comeback, the local nonprofit’s fundraising efforts during the past year have been curtailed by the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Doran.

Council member Jeff Steele seconded Doran’s motion, which was approved by unanimous vote.

“We appreciate this so much, we really do,” Mason told the council after the motion was approved. “We appreciate all that you are doing to support us. This will help us do things we weren’t sure if we’d be able to do.”

The festival is expected to have nearly the same number of vendors as in 2019, according to Mason, who said that the primary purpose of the festival is to drive tourism and promote the community’s businesses.

“We want to get people to come here, eat lunch here, and find out this is a great place to visit,” Mason said.

Hours for vendors and entertainment will be extended until 9 p.m. for this year’s festival. Organizers have been granted permission to utilize Camden Town Hall, South Main Street and a property at the corner of South Main and Lafayette Street for the event.

Also during the meeting, Fiscal Officer Becky Wilson informed the council during its second July 2021 meeting that the village would be receiving $206,673.84 in relief funds. This comes as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package which provides funding for agriculture, nutrition assistance programs, education, child care, and various public health initiatives, including mental health and substance abuse services and COVID-19 testing.

The bill also provides funding for public transportation and rental, housing and homelessness assistance.

Wilson stated during Thursday’s meeting that the village might receive a portion of the $221,000 allotted to Somers Township as well.

Village Council meetings take place the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall. Baker | The Register-Herald

By Anthony Baker

Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish

Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish