20,000+ people expected at Loachapoka Syrup Sop - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lee County

20,000+ people expected at Loachapoka Syrup Sop

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

LOACHAPOKA, AL (WTVM) -  In April, winds of more than one hundred miles per hour uprooted 250 trees in Loachapoka and caused $500,000 worth of damage. The town's prized landmark also fell prey to the tornado- the Syrup Sopping grounds.  

"It was completely destroyed. We didn't have anything left in the park. We've had to replace everything here," said the town's mayor, Larry Justice.

But residents were determined to get things back in order in time for the annual Syrup Sop. Crews were setting up all day Friday for Saturday's big event.

"The tornado came through in the spring and we all pitched in together and just about got everything cleaned up. We got our souvenir booth repaired that the wind blew away. We've got the cover over our syrup well repaired," said Mathan Holt, an organizer.

"We've had a lot of donations. Our Southwest Fire Department came in and rebuilt the veranda," the mayor added.

The festival raises thousands of dollars every year- money that's pumped back into the community.

"We've got about 200 residents here and on Syrup Sopping Day, we'll have more than 20,000 people come through," Holt said.

"We have the largest, oldest festival in Lee County- 37 years old," Justice said.

The festivities start Saturday morning, Oct. 24th, at 5:30 with breakfast.

Vendors open at 7 AM and the Syrup Sopping Festival will go until 4 PM.

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