The classic song, “What a Difference a Day Makes” was illustrated Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 22, in Hannibal. A huge crowd filled North Main Street at the 41st annual Autumn Historic Folklife Festival on Saturday, before the temperature dropped 20 degrees from the mid-70s to mid-50s on Sunday.

The classic song, “What a Difference a Day Makes” was illustrated Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 22, in Hannibal. A huge crowd filled North Main Street at the 41st annual Autumn Historic Folklife Festival on Saturday, before the temperature dropped 20 degrees from the mid-70s to mid-50s on Sunday.

The crowd was thinner Sunday, but the Hannibal Arts Council festival remained a big success. Rain was also forecast Sunday, but fortunately, the overnight thunderstorms moved out of the area before the 10 a.m. opening Sunday, and no rain fell until 4:15 p.m., after the festival closed at 4 p.m.

As usual, festival food appeared to be the most popular attraction, with perhaps the longest line Saturday eager to buy catfish sandwiches from the Hannibal Knights of Columbus. On Sunday George Keller reported nearly 4,000 catfish sandwiches had been sold during the two-day festival. He added that to serve the long lines, “we had three cookers going on Saturday.”

Among their Sunday customers were David and Laurel Henry, on vacation from California. They bought two sandwiches plus five to go. As a native of Louisiana, Mo., he said, “I know my catfish.”

Turkey legs and knackwurst sandwiches also were being eaten by the crowd, along with bowls of chicken and noodles, cheese soup and other hearty fare.

Cold drinks were popular on Saturday, when Java Jive reported selling a lot of jet tea smoothies.

The Hannibal Arts Council booth sold more root beer on Saturday and coffee on Sunday.

Fresh apple cider, a folklife tradition, was being made both days, served hot or cold.

Desserts were also popular, such as funnel cake. Curtis Anderson and Janet Williams were ready to share a funnel cake on Saturday, which she said is one of her festival traditions, adding they already ate a turkey leg and kettle corn.

 

Winners honored

 

The Best of Show food booth winner was the caramel apples sold by Project Graduation, where Tina Bartz and Starla Dunn were busy asking “with or without nuts?”as they dished up slices of apple topped with caramel syrup. They were proud to report that since Project Graduation began providing a safe after-graduation party for Hannibal students in 1986, there have been no fatal or injury accidents on graduation night.

Among the children eating caramel apples were brothers Wyatt and Wes DeGrave. They had been to the LEAP Children's Area, where Wes made a headband and macaroni necklace.

The Best of Show prize for exhibitors was won by Lesa and Kirby Carroll of Warrensburg for their Missouri Dulcimer Co. handmade dulcimers. In their fourth year at the festival, they were busy telling people how they are made. The couple was wearing authentic period clothing handmade by his mother, Ann Carroll.

A booth offering many items to decorate both inside and outside homes won first place among exhibitors. This was Ohio Street Originals, featuring dried flowers and herbals. Owner Jennifer Damhorst of Quincy, Ill., has been in the festival for 30 years. She said this year Halloween decorations “and black cat stuff” were most popular.

Second place went to Dana, Jerry and Mick Hayden of Vandalia for their wooden bowls and boxes. This was their fourth year at the local festival. Mick was working on a wooden Shaker oval box, explaining he boils the wood to bend it for the handles. “Dana and Jerry do lathe work and turn the wood, and I bend the wood,” he said. They prefer hardwood, he said, and “I look for wood that has a nice grain.”

Jeanne Scott-Zumwalt's pottery, Gone to Pot, won the President's Award. This is a purchase award, and the item chosen was a black and white bowl.

Scott-Zumwalt of Kirksville has been in the festival for almost 20 years and was excited to win. “I make the pottery and make my own glazes,” she said, adding this is the best job she ever had.

This year in addition to the usual bands and individuals performing, a new musician made his festival debut. This was folk music singer/songwriter Chris Vallillo, who has been honored for his work and his programs.

Vallillo joined the Rag Tag band that was playing Sunday prior to his individual performance. The fast-paced music prompted several people in the crowd to dance, including some joyful children.

Children also filled their special area, where the Hannibal LEAP leaders offered old-time games and crafts. They had faces painted and made headbands, macaroni necklaces and other items to wear home.

Three-year-old Grayson Albright had a Batman face as he enjoyed trying out his new sword, which came from a booth. Sophia Dolan was making a headband, accompanied by her grandparents, Terry and David Harney.

Other children were learning how to make rope, walk on stilts and play old-fashioned games at the Nauvoo on the Road booth.

Many people were carrying home their festival buys, such Chris Sutherland, who admitted his wooden scarecrow, as tall as himself, was heavy but would be an interesting item in his yard. “There's a lot of creative people here,” he added.

The farmer's market area got busy on Sunday when the festival was ending, as many people were selecting a large pot of colorful mums on their way home.

See video and photo galleries for more about the folklife festival.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.