The Annual Horse Creek/Midland Valley Sassafras Festival took over Burnettown's streets Saturday for a parade, antique car show and live entertainment.

“I think we've got a good crowd. Business has really grown this year compared to last year's festival,” said Burnettown Mayor C.H. Williams.

The festival took up a stretch of Highway 421 from Lee Drive to Huber Clay Road and featured arts and crafts vendors, food, charity information booths, face and nail painting, balloon animals, magicians, a carnival midway behind Burnettown Town Hall and more.

“We were in the show last year, and we bypassed three other festivals in the Augusta area to come back to Sassafras. We enjoyed it so much; they give us good booth space, it draws a crowd, and we enjoyed the people,” said Joy Braxton, who manned the “If It's Too Cute For Words” craft booth.

The carnival midway opened Friday evening, and the preliminary rounds of the Sassafras Idol talent competition were held. The top six semifinalists competed for the big prize – $100, a festival T-shirt and a year's worth of bragging rights – Saturday evening followed by the Sassafras Shuffle dance competition.

Radio station KICKS 99 did a live remote from the festival on Saturday evening and gave away tickets to the upcoming Guitar Pull concert. Live entertainment was on stage throughout the day.

“We're excited, a little scared – it's our first year doing this festival,” said Kerri Wesby of the Midland Valley High School Show Choir. “We're doing 'You Can't Stop the Beat' and 'Cohan Salute,' from our 2012-13 show, 'Salute to Broadway.'”

The festival closed Saturday night with a 7 to 10 p.m. street dance to live music from local band Anybody's Guess.

Main sponsors for this year's festival were the Aiken Electric Co-op, Bridgestone and Heights Church.

Suzanne Stone is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard. She is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design and studied communications at Augusta State University. She is a native of Augusta, Ga. Contact Suzanne Stone at, or follow on Twitter at #SuzanneRStone and on Facebook at Suzanne Stone is