Valdosta Daily Times

September 29, 2013

Harvest Fesss-s-s-s-s-tival

Food, music and snakes abound at annual Berrien County event

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

NASHVILLE, Ga. — Berrien County residents enjoyed live music, plenty of food and a heart-stopping snake show at the annual Harvest Festival Saturday.

“We had a great crowd. Everyone really seemed to enjoy Hobbs the tiger that Tiger Stripes brought over from Quitman, and there was a great turnout for the snake show,” said Crissy Staley, executive director of the Berrien County Chamber of Commerce.

Festival-goers waited in line for deep-fried alligator tail and gazed with envy at the vintage cars that lined the streets from the Berrien Cruisers classic car club before they made their way to a snake show featuring Robert Ackerman, one of the stars of the Animal Planet show “Rattlesnake Republic.”

Parents watched from the stands while children pressed their faces to the glass of the enclosed snake pit and watched Ackerman and his partner, Shawn Jonas, perform stunts with some diamondback rattlesnakes.

“Snakes will only bite for two reasons: food and fear. So, you’ve got to try your best not to scare them because you are too big for them to eat,” said Ackerman.

The festival also marked the grand opening of the Nashville Farmer’s Market on West Washington Avenue.

“The large crowd really helps our local economy and our local stores and restaurants in Berrien County. Special events play a huge part in our economic development. We are glad that everyone came out and enjoyed the event, and we are looking forward to making it bigger and better next year,” said Staley.