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Fun and food at Driver Days

The weather was warm and skies were clear as hundreds of people visited Driver on Saturday for sweet funnel cakes, cornhole, arts and crafts and more. The 24th annual Driver Days festival continues Sunday with an open invitation to enjoy a family-friendly setting filled with wild activities.

King’s Highway and Driver Lane were filled with the smells of fried Oreos and smoked turkey legs. Visitors ate fried pickles and kettle popcorn while they watched the morning parade of performing martial arts, drivers in t-rex costumes and other crowd-pleasing sights.

“If you can’t find it here, you don’t want to eat it,” said Diane Parsons, daughter of Joan Parsons Mayo of the Knot Hole Station store in Driver.

Classic cars were proudly showcased at the Driver Days Car Show. Driver resident Wishona Penn got to sit in a 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite. She said she loves cars, along with her “cute” community and its annual event.

“It’s an awesome day for the community to come together,” she said.

The Driver Cornhole Tournament drew 94 of the best competitors from four different states, with a $3,000 payout for the top four teams, according to Ken Parsons, cornhole organizer and owner of the Knot Hole Station in Driver.

Others took their chances with extremely hot, ghost pepper-spiced wings in the Buffalo Wild Wings eating contest.

“I was really looking for milk afterwards,” said Chesapeake resident Bill Perry as he cleaned sauce from his fingers.

Children enjoyed some ventriloquism at the Colonel Bob act on the porch of Arthur’s General Store. They wore themselves out in the bounce houses in the amusement area, and some got to hold tiny alligators and large snakes in the JB’s Rattles reptile tent.

For 12-year-old Jason Dickinson, the food was one of the best parts of the day.

“Funnel cakes are awesome,” Jason said.

Driver Days was started by the late Craig Parker in 1993 as way to honor his late sister Sherri and to bring the community together by supporting the businesses that are filled with new customers during the festival.

Shops like Twisted Art & More and the Knot Hole Station were packed with customers. About 70 vendors had tables and tents on Saturday, selling a wide range of items, according to event chairman Terri Moore.

“I got me a ‘Dukes of Hazard’ lunchbox this morning,” said Karen Rannings, a Horton’s Wreath Society member and the owner of the 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite at the car show.

Driver residents Diane and Richard Wash already got a request from their daughter Sydney for a souvenir.

“She already pointed at a Simply Southern T-shirt,” Diane said.

Sunday will keep the festivities going with a pet costume contest, the Sherri Parker memorial bike show and more food and shopping. As for Saturday, Moore said it was a great success for the Driver community with equally great weather.

“I don’t think we could ask for a better weekend,” she said.