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TRENTON – Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival greeted visitors with a beautiful Florida spring day and with fun and good spirits fostered by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

In downtown historic Trenton, thousands crowded north Main Street and the charming old railroad depot. Seventy-two craft, six antique and 13 food vendors displayed wares and offered fare, and 17 participating quilt groups sold quilts, quilting materials and supplies, and demonstrated quilting techniques.

Inside the Florida Quilt Museum, a visitor could enjoy meeting renowned quilting author Mary C. Kerr and master doll maker Charlie Patricolo, peruse antique quilts offered from Marie Miller’s collection, see feed sack materials displayed by Cecilia Reed, and enjoy expert quilt turning lectures by collectors Kathy Cray and Teddy Pruitt.

“We had a wonderful turnout, and I think our vendors had a good day, said Crafter Coordinator Pat Watson. “We had many vendors return who have been with us several years now, but we added 25 new vendors so that gave us a mix of the familiar and of new offerings to enjoy and explore. We are always pleased to hear from vendors that tell us that they view us as their favorite festival.”

Festival founder and Quilt Coordinator Stephanie Metts added, “We explored some new things this year, like Hawaiian quilting by Elaine Nemeth and the Japanese craft of Kimekomi by Bettie Rowe. We continue to have many quilt groups who support us every year from around our area. We are grateful for their participation.” Stephanie noted, “This year not only did the festival coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, it was held on National Quilt Day as well.”

Dan Sierra, Director of Merchandising for Best Drugs of Trenton, was delighted with their experience as featured sponsor this year. “We met people visiting from as far away as Wisconsin and enjoyed chatting with longtime customers. Our pharmacy experienced record breaking gift sales and the Life South Mobile Blood Collection unit in our parking lot exceeded their goal by more than 20 percent. All around it was a fabulous day for us,” said Sierra.

Festival visitor Stacy Clifton said, “It was great! The creative craft ideas were exciting. My friend, Teresa, bought some beautiful fabric from the quilt shop, and my daughter, Megann, thought the selection of food vendors was terrific.”

Food offerings included made-on-the-spot brick oven pizza, fresh off the grill barbecue, and deep fried seafood. Many others offered meals and baked goods, while the Suwannee Rose Cafe featured a back room Irish Pub experience.

The 2018 festival was sponsored by the City of Trenton, Gilchrist County’s Tourist Development Council, Ameris Bank, Best Drugs, Capital City Bank, Drummond Community Bank, Gray Construction, McDonald’s-Trenton, Trenton Animal Hospital, Trenton Hardware & Farm Supply, Trenton Wine & Spirits, Tri County Metals and the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe.

Looking ahead, the 13th annual Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the festival, visit the festival website, www.TrentonQuiltFestival.com, or contact the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe at 352-463-3842.

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