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Havana celebrates the community's love of lumber with its first-ever Wood Festival

Several people mill about amongst tents and tables outside.
Tom Flanigan
Wood Festival goers checking out the vendors lined along Havana's 1st Street.

The timber industry has long been an important part of the Gadsden County economy. The community of Havana was celebrating that heritage on Saturday, Sept. 3 with its inaugural "Wood Festival."

The happening had live music courtesy of Hot Tamale, while Havana Main Street's Ann Kozeliski was giving visitors the lay of the land.

"We have 18 wonderful vendors that are here displaying their artwork," she smiled as crowds thronged the downtown area.

Among the vendors was Linda Rabon who has mastered the arcane art of re-caning ancient wooden chairs that might otherwise end up in the landfill.

"If it's been in the family forever, great! You may want to invest some money to make it like new again. Or as close to new as you can for something over 100 years old," she explained while weaving thin cane strips into a replacement seat for an intricately carved chair.

Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes with the North Florida Woodturners was hoping to interest more folks in the craft of turning a spinning plank into art.

"You don't have to invest a lot of money. Your time is your big investment and learning a skill."

That bunch gets together the first Tuesday evening of each month at Tallahassee's Godby High School in case you're interested.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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