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This weekend's Fall Festival livened up Oakhurst Community Park (photos by Sarah Jackson)

27th Annual Oakhurst Fall Festival Focuses on Family Fun, Supports Local Businesses

By Sarah Jackson
Special to Sierra News Online

OAKHURST – Over the years the mountain area’s annual celebrations have evolved and changed but one theme remains the same: supporting a healthy, thriving community.

That was certainly the case Saturday when the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 27th annual Fall Festival in Oakhurst Community Park. The annual, three-day event is a fundraiser for the Chamber and an opportunity for local businesses to showcase their goods and services.

“We help local businesses to develop and grow here,” said past Chamber president Melanie Barker, who also spoke about the change in the Fall Festival’s focus. “Our members also benefit from the support we provide them within the modern social space” — including highlighting businesses on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

“This year, we decided to enhance the family experience – it was geared toward adults in years past – but for the last three years now we have brought in the carnival rides, scavenger hunt and more family fun activities,” Barker added. “I think it’s turned out really well.”

Children certainly enjoyed the festival; collecting stamps for finding a bear within local vendor booths, enjoying carnival rides, face painting, food, games and even balloon animals.

Vulcan Materials provided face painting and balloon animals much to the delight of local kids — many who displayed uncharacteristic patience while waiting in the long line. Even the most active kids summoned the focus to sit stock still for their turn in the chair, excited for the final work of art to be on display with their wide smiles.

Adults also enjoyed the wine and beer tasting, which spotlighted local wineries and breweries.

Food trucks and live music also encouraged adults and kids alike to stay and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather.

Singer Debbie Hutchins and the band Good Medicine entertained the crowd with “folkadelic” music

Public safety partners were also featured at the festival, sharing messages about fire preparedness, traffic safety and highlighting available services.

The Fall Festival kicked off Friday night and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday. Single day entry is just $3 and children under 5 are free.

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Sierra News Online

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