Laurel and Hardy

‘Small-town feel’: Oliver Hardy Fest brings crowds to Harlem

HARLEM, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The 34th annual Oliver Hardy Festival brought in a crowd of up to 25,000 people, according the Harlem Museum and Visitor Center.

Oliver Hardy was a native to Harlem and is best known for being half of the comedic duo Laurel and Hardy.

Saturday’s festival included shopping from both local businesses and vendors, as well as music, short films and a parade.

“We did do some shopping, we got some croc charms. Yeah, they were $1 each,” said Andrew Axon, festival attendee.

People from other states were even at the festival.

“We just came out of the antique store and that was really cool and we went to the nice ice cream parlor so I just love the small-town feel. It’s you know, we’re from a big city, so this is just it’s very homey,” said Laurie Cindrich, festival attendee.

A bigger crowd means more sales for vendors.

“We had a lot of … people come in and look,” said Mason Robertson from the Dewy Rose family business.

And it also brought in more customers to local businesses.

“We had customers pretty much throughout the whole day, the line was to the door all day long. It was crazy,” said Sang Lee, Harlem Java House owner.

New or old, every business had a crowd at the festival.

“I’m a new business, so I haven’t done too many but the ones that I have done, compared to this one there’s definitely a lot more people here,” said Joyce Sanns, My Mosaic Pony owner.

But being busy is a good thing.

“These events, I think really keep a lot of these businesses like a float, even. It’s a lot of business for us and it’s a good opportunity for us,” said Lee.

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