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51st Autumn Leaves Festival underway in Mount Airy

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – The 51st Autumn Leaves Festival got underway Friday in downtown. Around 200,000 people are expected to attend the event that includes local craftsmen and unique food vendors.

“The Amish donuts, the collard sandwiches,” are a favorite, said cousins Janice and Sandy Fritts.

The festival is ranked as one of the top 20 in the southeast and brings in visitors from across the country.

“I’m just proud of the growth and the teamwork that we have here,” said Yvonne Nichols, who served as director for the past 25 years.  This year she’s training a new director who will carry it on, but she plans to come back as a volunteer. “I will help in any capacity I can.”

The festival runs through Sunday and includes several new vendors including a frozen cheesecake vendor.