04/01/07 — Daffodils take over in Fremont

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Daffodils take over in Fremont

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 1, 2007 2:07 AM

FREMONT -- Kelly Williams had been waiting for weeks to celebrate the end of winter.

You don't want to scare the warm weather away with premature skirt wearing and trips to the beach, she said.

But Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining on the Williams family and the town of Fremont, as hundreds took to Main and Sycamore streets.

And for Kelly, the arrival of the 21st annual Daffodil Festival meant spring was here, too.

"You always know the cold weather is gone for good once the Daffodil Festival is over," the 13-year-old said. "My dad said that's why they hold it when they do."

Her father, Danny, said there is nothing scientific about it -- winter's transition to spring just seems to come with the celebration.

"It really brings the spring season out in everyone," he said. "Makes you want to pack up the family from here and just drive to the coast."

Jennifer McClure agrees.

She and her son have been coming to the festival from their home in Princeton for more than 10 years.

"The people here are just so wonderful and the food and music is just great," the 36-year-old said. "There's no other place to be this weekend than Fremont."

Fans of the Embers shared her sentiments.

As the band took the stage near 1 p.m., song and dance took over.

"If they're not too far away, I try to make it to at least five or six shows a year," John Wilkerson said. "What could be better than dancing to this?"

And he didn't have to travel far for this performance.

The Goldsboro native showed up on Main Street just before noon -- more than enough time to check out the arts and crafts and to grab a bite to eat before the show.

He came to the event without his date -- his wife, Emily.

"Well, I was rushing so my wife decided to sit this one out," he said. "She'll wish she came tomorrow morning."

Others were not as interested in the band or food.

Goldsboro resident Lisa Roberts just wanted to spend the day outside with her two children, 5-year-old William and 9-year-old Amelia.

"We were looking for something to do this weekend and had read about the festival," she said. "When I woke up, it was just too beautiful outside not to make the trip. We're always at Herman Park and this just seemed like something new."

Mrs. Williams had other motives, too.

"I really wanted to get some sun without being by the pool," the tank top-clad 31-year-old said. "It's hard to get a tan when you're teaching them how to swim."

Young and old, those who joined the crowd did not leave disappointed.

Most said they had gotten their fill of the sights, sounds and tastes.

"I'm gonna need a nap before tonight," Fremont resident Jeff Stewart said. "Too much walking around I guess."

The Williams though, weren't going anywhere until the event's official 5 p.m. end.

"It's becoming kind of a family tradition," Danny said. "We come here, go home, fry some chicken and grill some steaks. It's just a nice day to spend with family."