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‘Faith and flexibility’ lead to successful festival

The theme of this year’s Gwynn’s Island Festival was “The Road to Paradise,” and although roads and parking areas were flooded by Friday night’s downpour, presenting challenges to organizers, vendors, volunteers and visitors alike, in the end those who came out found why the island community is a paradise.

“It ended up being a great day,” organizer Jan Bassett said, who used two words—“faith and flexibility”—as her personal mantra to guide her through the weekend.

The sky opened up Friday night just as volunteers were getting ready for the Chicken Dinner, which kicks off the festival. With the rain, the big field next to the Gwynn’s Island Civic Center (which is normally used for parking) was now off limits; but volunteers quickly improvised.

Coles Buchanan used his own vehicle to pick up diners who had parked at Gwynn’s Island Baptist and ferried them across the street, while other volunteers used umbrellas to help people come in to pick up their to-go orders. “It almost sol...

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