Vicki Davis, executive director of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, talked about spring events Tuesday at the Hinesville Rotary Club luncheon.
Davis began the presentation by talking about Hinesville’s Small World Festival, scheduled for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 28 at Bradwell Park.
“This is our fourth Small World Festival, which is an international cultural celebration,” she said. “What’s unique about our festival is that it’s about people from our own community, many by way of the military.”
Davis said the three major components of the festival are the world marketplace, international food court and cultural entertainment.
She said the goal of the festival is to help the businesses that take part in it.
The new spring market, which started last Thursday, and the farmers market, which begins May 3, were the next events Davis discussed, noting why they call the spring market by a different name.
“We call it something different because it looks different, and we don’t close down the street,” Davis said. “The spring market is in Bradwell Park, while the farmers market is on Commerce Street. Both focus on farm and farm products. In total, we will now have nine months of fresh produce available (each Thursday) in downtown Hinesville.”
When asked by a Rotary member why some of the farm products sold at the markets were not from Liberty County, Davis pointed out that much of Liberty County is taken up by Fort Stewart. For that reason, she said she considers farm products from the continuous counties bordering Liberty County as local produce and farm products.
Davis announced that Farm Bureau Liberty had become an official sponsor of the spring and farmers markets. She also noted the participation of local high school horticulture classes at the market, who she said are learning “entrepreneurial skills.”
“One thing we want to bring attention to through our markets is nutritional foods,” she said. “We hope to start having guest chefs at the markets to demonstrate nutritional cooking and maybe show some younger cooks and those customers not originally from this area how to cook local cuisine — like (mustard, turnip and collard) greens.”
Another feature she hopes to soon have at the markets is the ability for customers qualifying for food stamps to be able to purchase tokens that could be exchanged to vendors for fresh produce. She said the city needs about $2,000 for a dedicated wireless terminal to get this feature up and running.
The last item discussed was a sculpture called “The Resonance,” which will be placed in the traffic circle on Memorial Drive. Davis said the city hopes to pay for the sculpture, which was designed by students from the Savannah College of Art and Design, by selling personalized bricks.
“We’re just shy of $16,000 right now,” she said. “We need a total of about $80,000 to pay for the sculpture. Anyone interested in buying a brick should call (HDDA) at 877-4332.”
Following Davis’ remarks, Shannon Hickey, secretary for the Hinesville Rotary Club, appealed to members for support in buying foster care Easter egg baskets. The luncheon was then adjourned until March 20.