Harlem celebrated the 20th annual Oliver Hardy Festival on Saturday in honor of its best-known native son.
In 1989, former Mayor James Lewis started the festival in hopes of drawing more people to the community. Twenty years later, the town of 3,000 receives more than 30,000 visitors to the event.
"Today is going to be another great festival," Mayor Bobby Culpepper said Saturday during a welcoming speech. "Naturally, this event helps with the economy and it draws a good light for the local merchants."
Hardy, who was born in Harlem in 1892, made more than 100 movies with Stan Laurel. Some of their classic films include Sons of the Desert (1933), Way Out West (1937) and Block-Heads (1938).
"This is the largest crowd ever," Harlem resident Evelyn Stokes said. "The weather was lovely and we really enjoyed it."
Laurel and Hardy impersonators Jamie McKenna and Bill Leavy, both of Florida, have come to the festival for 17 years. They also travel throughout the world as the screen legends.
"We just go back from the Tuschinski Theater," said McKenna, portraying Hardy. "That's in Amsterdam, you know," interjected Laurel, as played by Leavy.
While the impersonators are a crowd favorite, other attractions, such as live music and vendors, provided plenty of activities for the festival's visitors.
"I loved the parade," said Christina Martinez, 8, of Dearing. "My favorite part was when the old fire truck sprayed water at me and when the big fire truck honked its horn. It was kind of scary."
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