Area farm treats locals to fun once a year

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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WJHG) - Things were rocking at the Rocking B-A-B Ranch in DeFuniak Springs recently. Once a year it hosts Farm Day where more than 6,000 visitors pour through its gates to experience farm life.

A youngster tries his hand at blacksmithing during the Rocking B-A-B Ranch's Farm Day.

“I've never seen this many people in my life," said seven-year-old Bodie Buckelew, whose grandfather owns the farm.

“I think that they [visitors] really like it because like it's free and they're like a lot of fun things to do,” said nine-year-old Nola Buxton.

From hay rides to blacksmithing to touching the animals, the event gave a lot city folks a feel for country life.

“It's really awesome because they come from neighborhoods where they don't have this, and to see the joy that, to eating cotton candy maybe for the first time and they got it all over their face and I get to say, you know, hey, that's gonna stay on there forever,” said a smiling Michael Thompson, Farm Day Chairman and Coordinator.

“I think it's an awesome thing for the community to be able to come out here as one, and even people that maybe wouldn't interact with other parts of the community, they can all just come together as one thing and all come have fun,” said 19-year-old Joshua Teasley of Alabama.

Seven partnering churches put on the event. It started 37 years ago as a small picnic.

“The reason that we put this on is to show God's love and that others will come to see that Christians are just like other people," said Thompson. "My slogan is so that they can see Jesus through our attitudes or actions and our deeds.”

“It's fun and we get the time to spend out with friends and family, and it represents God, like we talk about God a bunch,” said Buckelew.

Some even got in touch with their animal spirit.

“I like the tortoise," said 19-year Cory Schreiner. "I synergize with it on a different level, if you know what I mean. It looks at me with the age of wisdom, a little twinkle in its eye. It's great.”

“I like the wallabies because no one ever notices they're not kangaroos," said nine-year-old Kayleigh Carter.

"They see lemurs for the first time. They see camels for the first time, sheep, donkeys,” said Thompson.

And like us here at NBC, lots of peacocks.

“They come here and they're just amazed that there's so many different animals here that they can not only see but they can interact with, they can touch, they can ride the horses,” said Thompson.

And the farm is not horsing around when it comes to creating memories.

“I really hope that the new people coming in and experiencing this take away something greater than when they came,” said Schreiner.

“This is a great gathering for communities, for people to come together,” said Thompson.

And come together they did.

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