There are a lot of different indicators for the start of fall. For one, cooler weather has been afoot lately, which is nice after the long, hot drought our area has been facing. School starting back up and getting back into the swing of our homeschooling has been another sign that fall is just around the corner. Halloween costumes and candy are starting to pop up everywhere– including my personal favorites like Cadbury SCream eggs and Pumpkin Spice Kisses– and it seems like that holiday is just around the corner. We just had Labor Day, which includes the last weekend of the drive-in, and I’ve even started seeing sale prices on fall apples.
But none of those really indicate the beginning of fall to me as much as a tradition that is a huge part of my hometown. Every year, my town has their annual Fall Festival.
It has all of the markings of a small-town festival, including picking the Fall Festival queen, the Citizens of the Year, and having a fair with booths from everything from homemade crafts to Thirty-One consultants and everything in between. Everyone in town makes an appearance, it seems, and many college students and full-grown adults make their way back to their beloved hometown for this event.
This event brings a heck of a lot more people back than homecoming, but it’s the small town feel that really makes the whole weekend, which is capped off by the annual Street Dance featuring local sort of bands.
This year, the weekend started with a movie in a park, which the entire city was invited to attend, followed by a parade first thing the following morning, the craft fair all day (and of course the entire evening before, as well), and then the street dance each night. Food trucks featuring all of the fair hits, like Fried Oreos and Funnel Cakes, really brought the atmosphere of fall to the whole experience.
Growing up in town, the Fall Festival has always been a huge part of the experience of living in my town. It’s a great chance for everyone to see everyone else and catch up on the latest events with the kids, the town, and even a little gossip (it IS a small town, after all). To me, it’s almost like our very own slice of Wisteria Lane, without all of the perfect hair.
I really love how the leaves crunch under my feet as I look over the booths, picking up a few free pens and talking to people I’ve known almost my entire life, plus meeting people I’ve only recently gotten the opportunity to know. It’s nice seeing our community gather around to watch demonstrations from our town’s Performing Arts group, our high school Dance Team, and the Jazz Band from the high school, as well.
Does your hometown have a sort of festival or gathering in the fall? Tell me about it in the comments below!