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COTI Greenfest draws a crowd
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Josh Lipp and Melissa Poletz and their children Charlotte and Jax enjoy Greenfest.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – With the sun shining on a cool March morning it was a perfect day to bring the children to the annual Greenfest celebration.

Melissa Poletz and her partner Josh Lipp did just that and brought their two children to the event. Charlotte, 6, was busy running from one booth to another while her father tried to keep up. Jax, 9-months-old, was just enjoying himself riding around in the stroller.

“We live in Clearwater Beach,” said Melissa. “We just had to come over and see this, it is very good.”

Poletz said she was pleased with some of the things she was able to find from the vendors.

“They actually had children’s books for sale here, and you don’t often find that at these fairs,” she said. “I’m impressed with the variety of things that are available. This is our first time here but we’ll definitely be back.”

Lindsay and Adam Sterry of Belleair Bluffs are people who do come every year.

“This is very cool,” said Lindsay. “We used to live in Indian Rocks Beach so it is fun to come back and enjoy this.”

Diana and Alex Chrapowicki of Holmes County, Ohio, were enjoying the stroll around the grounds. They got there by chance.

“We found out about this at the information center here in town,” said Diana. “This is like a collage; there are so many different things and different people. This is really nice.”

Each year Greenfest attracts more than 2,000 people and this year even more vendors were added. Organizer Christy Ward said last year there were 90 vendors; this year there were 95.

One of the new vendors was Barrie West with her “Beach Art by Barrie” display. She hasn’t seen a piece of beach-related memorabilia that she doesn’t paint.

“I would describe my work as anything nautical or tropical,” she said. “I paint it all; everything here is hand-painted.

West participates in shows nearly every weekend of the year. She likes Greenfest, she said, because as a resident of Seminole it was nice and close to home.

A little farther from home was Gary McKenzie of Cadiz, Ky. He was enjoying inspecting West’s work.

“I especially like that big painted turtle,” he said.

West said she’ll decide whether to come back next year once she gets a chance to see just how good business was during the one day event.

This year’s Greenfest was the 7th annual. The COTI Christian School, a Ministry of the Church of the Isles where the event was held, sponsors it.
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