Hundreds of people enjoy the return of Autumn with Topsail Festival

Autumn with Topsail Festival.
Autumn with Topsail Festival.(WECT)
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT
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TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - After a missed year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Autumn with Topsail Festival was in full swing.

Many local vendors at the festival said that the business side of things still aren’t completely back to normal, but this weekend’s festival is a push in the right direction.

“Last year Autumn with Topsail was canceled, so for vendors that ramped up their inventory . . . and other festivals since then have also been canceled so it’s been tough for local vendors who go to these shows who rely on this for all or part of their income,” said Jeff Wenzel, owner and photographer for Above Topsail.

Wenzel says this weekend was a sign of hope for small businesses like his as sales started to pick up. “Beautiful weather, no rain, no hurricanes has been great, the sales have been great, there’s a lot of people out here they’ve been smiling, the food is good, the bands are great, so it’s really just important for the local vendors to make some money,” Wenzel said.

The festival is also a fundraiser for the Historical Society of Topsail Island, a non-profit organization working to preserve and promote the history of Topsail Island, like maintaining the historical Assembly Building.

“This is our sole source of income for the year, so it’s very important for us to get out here, have a great time and raise some money,” said Rick Stidley, Chairman for the Autumn with Topsail Festival.

With support from locals and out of town visitors, many people were excited to have what they call a staple event for the Island back this year.

“And it really feels like it’s back, you can look around and you see people are smiling and happy and it feels normal for a second, it’s nice,” said out of town visitor and festival attendee Phil Servello.

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