April 26, 2014

BIG SATURDAY: From bowties to paintings, Eau Claire Fest lets artists show their talents

Two booths at the Eau Claire festival proved one thing: "There's fun after retirement," said Elenda Bates, who was selling homemade bow ties.

Two booths at Eau Claire Fest in north Columbia proved one thing.

“There’s fun after retirement,” said Elenda Bates, who was selling homemade bow ties.

Bates said she started sewing when she was young and her grandmother would leave her home with two rules: Don’t touch the sewing machine and don’t touch the fabric.

But Bates couldn’t resist.

“She came home and whipped my behind,” Bates remembered.

Many years later, Bates has eight sewing machines of her own and was selling hundreds of bow ties at the Saturday festival near North Main Street.

Across the way, Charles Royster, a retired principal from Washington D.C. who now lives in Columbia, was selling artwork.

His pieces were framed embossed metal that he painted with themes including Civil Rights and nature.

The annual family festival also featured kids’ activities, food, entertainment and more.

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