“Out There…Somewhere”: Garfield, Georgia Celebrates The Washpot

"Out There...Somewhere": Garfield, Georgia Celebrates The Washpot (Image 1)

Sure it looks quiet in Garfield, Georgia now but it's time for the Washpot Festival. They'll be roaring in from all over.

“Folks from South Carolina, Alabama, they're from out of state, Tennessee…they come down here just to see,” says Garfield Police Chief Daniel Moxley.  

You've heard of corn festivals or peach festivals, or cotton festivals. Down here in Garfield, it's the Washpot festival.

Washpot?

I wasn't around these parts many years ago, but wasn't a washpot something they stuck under the bed in the old days so you didn't have to go to the outhouse?

“No, it's different  it's the washpot that used to be out in the yard to wash your clothes in a washpot over a fire, with hot water,” says Brenda Clemens, of the Washpot Festival and the Garfield Volunteer Fire Department, which gets the proceeds from Saturday's shindig.

A washpot hanging on a yard in Garfield is now used for flowers, but in the old days it was where you took care of your dirty clothes.

So basically, the Garfield Washpot Festival is a celebration of old laundry days. 

“Right, more or less except, we cook food in it,” said Garfield Mayor Hugh Evans.

They're not kidding, it's the Washpot Cooking Festival, meaning out with the flowers and the laundry and in with lunch. 

“We never died from it, as you see,” said Mayor Evans.

So, with washpot foo,d does it have a hint of old dungaree, or dirty overall? “No,” said Clemens.

The Mayor says the heat from the fire gets rid of the germs and any leftover laundry aftertastes…so no need to call the Garfield Health Department or 911…washpot stew won't do you in.

“It's very fine food,” says Chief Moxley.

Washpots were a big part of our past, but they're antiques for the garden now not needed for laundry or cooking, but for 15 years Garfield, has celebrated this trusty old tub.

“You honor the washpot, I think that's a noble thing to do”, we said to Mayor Evans. “Thank you sir,” he said. 

“They must love the washpot, down in Garfield.

“We do,” says the Mayor.

And things will really be cooking “Out There…Somewhere” in Garfield on Saturday.

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