augusta free press news

Sweet Dreams made in Draft

This year marks the seventh annual Sweet Dreams Festival in Stuarts Draft. Saturday, July 24, thousands of people will show up to buy from local businesses, artisans and crafters and enjoy the stage with musical entertainment by S.A.L.T and Steve Losh.

The Festival begins at 9 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m.

Venders lined up Friday morning at an early 7:30 a.m. to get a prime location for their tent. These early birds included Kathryn McMillan of Cutter Conversions. McMillan has been doing this event for four years.

“This is the best place to get business. People come here ready to buy,” McMillan said.

Also among the venders was Melissa Howell of Barefoot Books and MDH Events, a new business.  This is Howell’s second year in the festival, and she says the event is a good place to get the word out about the Barefoot Books, which are for people of all ages, because most of the books are not sold in local stores. 

Kristen Printy, one of the coordinators for this event, was out there ready to go checking people in this morning as cars flooded the park.

“With McKee and Hershey both right here in Stuarts Draft, we have dubbed ourselves the sweetest place in Virginia,” Printy said about how this whole event came about.

Although the festival does not begin until 9 a.m., Printy, along with other workers, will be at Stuarts Draft Park at 5 a.m. in order to let vendors come in and set up their merchandise. 

Events will be going on all day starting with a pancake breakfast at Stump Elementary School going from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. At 7 a.m. there will be a 5K run, followed by tournaments including horseshoe and cornhole as well as softball. Numerous contests will be taking place throughout the day, ranging from a baking contest to a Little Debbie look-a-like contest.

Story by Jenny Hypes. Jenny can be reached at