Revised on: 07.17.2018 at 10:46 a.m.
Posted on: 06.25.2018 at 11:00 a.m.
By Diana Matthews
A.C. Cutler, a 2007 graduate of Whiteville High School who now owns Dreamsense Design, a web design business in Greensboro, was back in Whiteville last week making plans for the second N.C. Honey Festival.
The inaugural festival, held the weekend after Labor Day last year, attracted a good crowd for the first year of what Cutler called “a day of bee-themed fun and community fellowship.”
The mission of the NCHF, said Cutler, “is to highlight the significance of bees in our environment, celebrate honey and honey products, encourage bee-friendly practices and promote beekeeping in all of North Carolina’s regions.”
Cutler and his family planned last year’s event in honor of his father, Carl Cutler, a veteran beekeeper. The festival grew more ambitious and successful as the Columbus County Beekeepers Association became “hugely involved,” Cutler said.
Columbus County Youth and Families Association also lent its support, as did Randolph Keaton’s Men and Women United for Children and Families. Hills and the Columbus County Community Farmers Market donated food.
Bee exhibits, vendors, honey farmers, food, honeybee products and demonstrations took over a three-block stretch of South Madison Street, from the science museum to Main Street.
Inside the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville, exhibits introduced children to the importance of bees. On the lawn beside the museum, several vendors from the county farmers market set up to sell produce and honey-themed products.
A “Bee-a-blessing silent auction” benefited Families First Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. There was a free mead (honey wine) tasting at The Chef and The Frog, and a DJ played danceable oldies hits in the street while festivalgoers admired a display of vintage farm equipment.
Cutler was enthusiastic in his appreciation of the museum and other organizations that supported the inaugural festival.
This year, said Cutler, festival visitors can expect to find “much more honey.” He also hopes vendors will exhibit “more beekeeping products.”
Once again, on the night before the festival, Friday, Sept. 7, a charity pancake supper will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Central Missionary Baptist Church at 413 W. Virgil St., Whiteville.
Last year, “It came together very well. Everyone found a role to play and just pitched in,” Cutler said. Prospective vendors, partners and sponsors are invited to call him at (910) 445-1065, as is anyone who wants to suggest an idea for making this year’s festival fun and successful.