FALL-ing for Exeter

By Mo Moore

Exeter celebrated its last day of Fall Festival activities Saturday starting bright and early with a 10k run and two mile prediction walk. Then it was on to City Park where visitors were greeted with the smell of pancakes and bacon thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Exeter.

&#8220We come here for the 10k, but we have a tradition of eating the Kiwanis pancake breakfast after,” said Heather Crawford, winner of the woman's 10k, who was joined by her husband and friends. Many early goers enjoyed a cup of coffee with their meal as the park's damp grounds began to awake with vendors setting up their handmade treasures. Crafters and artists displayed their talents: from photography to woodworking, jewelry to metal craft, there was something for everybody.

&#8220I come here for the shopping opportunities,” said Linda Fry of Visalia. &#8220It's a great place to find Christmas gifts.”

Soon streets surrounding the park and throughout downtown began filling up as the clock approached 10 a.m. Young and old lined up to watch with anticipation. Local businesses, organizations and schools showed their pride with a variety of floats, classic transportation and/or musical talent.

After the parade, City Park became bustling with activity. Children enjoyed a large tiger slide, obstacle rope course, and even got to try their hand at archery. The Valley Oak SPCA was even there, bringing lots of furry friends who found a home later that day thanks to some caring residents.

A line of food booths provided attendees with a lot of delicious choices. Indian tacos, smoothies, cotton candy, deep-pit, funnel cakes and hot dogs were served up to the crowd of hungry visitors. A band entertained from the bandstand as a competitive horseshoe tournament got underway. The crowd did not just consist of local residents, but also visitors from afar getting a taste of small town life.

&#8220This is my first year and I love it,” exclaimed Jo Johnson of Las Vegas, NV. So much so that she bought herself an &#8220I love Exeter” button and wore it around with pride.

As the afternoon came and went, the crowds dwindled away and booths began to tear down. Another Fall Festival came to a close, but not without establishing new memories in the hearts of all. Tradition seemed to play a large part in Saturday's activities, as generations were seen together celebrating the community of Exeter.

&#8220We've gone here all of our lives,” said local residents Ken and Carol Scott. &#8220It's just part of our tradition.”

Start typing and press Enter to search