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Fourth time's a charm

Elgin's PoDunk Festival

Posted: May 5, 2015 7:06 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

Barney Fife (Ronnie Felker), Thelma Lou (Elease Felker) and Ernest T. Bass (Jacob Felkner) stopped by the PoDunk Festival.

Elgin celebrated its’ fourth annual PoDunk Festival on Saturday with a parade, music, games, activities and lots of entertainment. The parade began at 10 a.m. led by the Camden Military Academy Honor Guard. Trackers, golf carts and even a bicycle proceeded down the street towards Potter Community Park.  This year, festival goers were treated to new features which included a visit from some folks from Mayberry.

“We’re Barney Fife, Thelma Lou and Ernest T. Bass. We’re spreading a little bit Mayberry cheer,” Ronnie Felkner said, also pointing out his bullet in his left shirt pocket.

“I’m not allowed to actually put it in my gun,” he joked. 

Felkner was Barney Fife for the day while Elease and Jacob Felkner played the parts of Thelma Lou and Ernest T. Bass. The Felkner’s first began spreading Mayberry cheer after Ronnie’s pastor asked him to impersonate Barney Fife at a church event.

“It kind of grew and now we do about 70 events a year,” Felkner said. “We’re having a good time today.”

Another popular attraction for the day was Wateree Animal Hospital Director Lea Murray and her 2-year-old pet possum, Basil. 

“Someone had her as a pet then they didn’t want her anymore. They were going to release her but you can’t do that -- her death would have been imminent. I was going to re-home her but she found a home with me,” Murray said.

She told onlookers possums are wild animals and one has to have a license to have one for a pet. 

Kids at the PoDunk festival also learned about Fire Safety with Doby’s Mill Fire Department’s (DMFD) Fire Safety House. Fog was used to imitate smoke inside of the trailer. 

“This is a fire safety house, it demonstrates for kids the proper way to come down the steps to go out and to escape. What we do is fog out the upstairs and (teach the kids) how to come down the steps backwards to the exit point. It definitely helps kids learn the proper way to escape from a fire and to know what’s going on,” DMFD Officer Joe Hannan said. 

Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown and Lea Murray were chosen as Mr. and Mrs. PoDunk 2015.

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