Children enjoy a ride on the tractor train during the annual Harvest Jubilee at Smyrna Presbyterian Church in Conyers. (Special Photo)
Smyrna Presbyterian Church is ready to usher in the season of fall with an outdoor celebration, the annual Harvest Jubilee. For more than two decades, Harvest Jubilee has offered family activities and other events to benefit a special home missions project at the Conyers church.
“We always have a large crowd,” Jubilee volunteer Susan Wofford said. “…The Jubilee starts at 9, but we’ll have people there as early as 7:30 staking things out to see what they want at the yard sale. We don’t have high prices on anything. Everything is donated. We have a lot of stuff for 25 cents, but it adds up.”
A special highlight this year is a beautiful handmade porcelain doll that will be sold by silent auction. Made by the daughter of a church member, Wofford said each feature of the doll is handmade.
“It is just gorgeous,” she said. “The lady makes everything about her and even pours the mold (to make her). She puts the eyelashes on. She’s a beautiful Victorian doll.”
Held this year on Sept. 21, Harvest Jubilee is a festival hosted yearly by Smyrna Presbyterian Church to aid the Tina George Carter Medical Benevolence Fund. Named in honor of the late Tina George Carter, the fund assists people who have financial difficulties due to medical expenses.
The fund was set up 21 years ago to help Carter during her fight with breast and liver cancer. The disease claimed her life, but it was her wish to help others through the continuation of the benevolence fund.
“Tina was my baby sister,” Wofford said. “She got cancer when she was 25 and died at 27. We had a fundraiser for her. It was 1992, and they wanted to do a stem cell transplant. Insurance wouldn’t cover it. It was a new thing back then and experimental.
“Our church raised money for her, but she died before she got to have it. She wanted any money left in the fund to help others in medical situations. She was just that kind of person. She was only married for three years before she died, but she and her husband chose a family at Christmas each year to give to. She just had a generous and giving spirit.”
Harvest Jubilee kicks off Saturday morning at 9 and ends at 3 p.m., at Smyrna Presbyterian, located at 2920 Ga. Highway 212 in Conyers, with events taking place in cabins, the historic tabernacle and outdoors on the church grounds. In addition, a Red Cross blood drive will be going on in the church fellowship hall throughout the day.
Those attending the festival can look forward to a large yard sale, car show, plant sale, book sale and a Shoe Shack that includes shoes, purses and luggage. Gently used clothing for adults and children will be available in the Clothes Closet.
Many attendees look forward to the Holiday House featuring decorations and other holiday items. There will also be a Linen Loft, a bake sale and many arts and crafts, especially quilts.
“The ladies in our church quilt all year long and have some beautiful things to offer,” Wofford said. The festival also includes the Hippie Chic Boutique, an area that will have “hip” and vintage items for sale.
As always, there will be many different kinds of food including hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, barbecue, French fries, onion rings and other items, including Vietnamese spring rolls and fried rice. Along with games and inflatables for children, there will be other activities for the youngsters, such as a flea market for kids.
Wofford said the car show is always a big hit and additional participants are invited to come to the Harvest Jubilee the day of the event and register their car for $10. A trophy will be awarded for Best in Show.
Beth Slaughter Sexton is a freelance writer based in Gwinnett County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.