WENDELL — Local artists, entertainers and charities weren’t the only groups at Wendell’s annual Harvest Festival. This year, the town’s Appearance Commission set up a fundraising booth, offering treats for kids and dogs to help raise money in their effort to fund a mural project in downtown Wendell.
The weekend festival drew several thousand people despite unseasonably hot weather on Saturday, attracting families and a crowd that filled the town square on Saturday night for the marquee act: The Embers, who made their first appearance at the Harvest Festival in 10 years.
The Appearance Commission was created in 1984 and worked for about six years before taking a 10-year break. It was re-established in 2000 and then deactivated again in 2006.
In March 2012, it was officially re-established and has been working ever since. This weekend at the festival, the commission raised almost $150 to put toward the project.
According to the commission’s staff liaison, planner Patrick Reidy, the Appearance Commission only has a $500 budget. Anything outside that has to come from donations or fundraising.
“The big step is getting money to get somebody on board with it,” Reidy said.
Sandy Foutch, one of the members of the commission, said it is focusing on raising money to be able to pay a mural artist. According to minutes of the commission’s meetings, it has discussed working with local artists known to have done similar projects around the Triangle.
Reidy estimates the mural project, which is still in its early stages, would cost a couple thousand dollars.
At its booth at the Harvest Festival, the commission displayed three pictures of murals in Trenton as examples of what Wendell could do.
Foutch said the commission likes the idea of some sort of railroad or tobacco imagery for Wendell’s murals.
The commission has been scouting locations. Foutch said members have spoken with some local businesses that seemed excited about the idea.
Foutch said the commission’s goal is to start the project by next spring.
Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews