MIDLOTHIAN — In the cherished, time-honored tradition that has bridged 40 years of community celebration, the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2017 “Fall Festival and 5K” on Oct. 21.
“It’s the biggest fall festival in Ellis County, and I say come for the community and stay for the food,” expressed Cammy Jackson, President of the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a great way to get the community out and together, showcase our businesses, and show Ellis County a good time - and that’s why we do it,” she added.
Presented by Methodist Mansfield Health System, Jackson goes on to confirm the event will be held at Midlothian ISD’s Multi-Purpose Stadium on South 14th Street where both new and “throwback” attractions are planned for this year.
“We have some new things this year that I’m super excited about,” Jackson began. “We have about four inflatable courses and slides for the kids to play on, which we haven’t had those in several years.”
“The MPD (Midlothian Police Department) is doing a bicycle safety course for the kids, and the fire department is going to have a ‘Cool Zone,’ so they’re going to bring their big ladder truck out and have the big sprayer for the kids to go through,” she added.
Established in 1977 and growing to over 2,000 visitors last year, Jackson explained how the legacy of the festival first became the beloved tradition it is today.
“The first year that we did it, our offices were in the historic Civic Center, and they were trying to decide how to replace the siding since it needed repairs. So the chamber signed a note to replace the siding, and when the note came due, they were like, ‘There’s no money.’”
“So they decided to have what small towns always do - a festival to help raise funds,” she chuckled. “Well, the festival was so popular that they decided to do it again the next year, and after that, it became a tradition.”
Combining September's new health initiative, Live Well Midlothian, the festival will also be hosting a three-mile run during the day, along with a full list of entertainment and fitness opportunities.
“We’ve been doing the 5K for about 12 years, and it was a way to get the community out and going, so now we’ve partnered with the 'Live Well Midlothian' movement to hopefully help everybody get up and active, while also enjoying the festival,” Jackson emphasized.
“As for the entertainment side, we’ll have Cat Alley again with all the MISD booster clubs, the City is back with their sound system and will play music in between everything, and there will be a yoga class in the park at noon,” she added.
Jackson also confirmed that Stage Door School of Dance’s students will perform, as well as a couple of martial art studios conducting live demonstrations.
“And there’s going to be a surprise in the entertainment that you don’t want to miss,” Jackson enticed with mystery. “So you have to come and find out what it is.”
With over 130 vendors scheduled to attend, the festival will have everything from delectable foods to interactive games, and, of course, a whole lot of community fellowship.
“Last year we had a couple of thousand people come through, but that’s pretty regular every year,” Jackson acknowledged. “It’s a come and go atmosphere, so people who run in the 5K will stay for an hour visiting with others, or visit the vendors having a good time."
“And parents know that the kids are all safe, and it’s all within the area, so they can be at the bounce houses while moms shop the booths,” she included.
And a festival isn't complete without a proper Texas-sized feast, to which Jackson claims this year's selection is going to be “off the charts.”
“We have a lot of food trucks coming like Momma’s Icebox, and she makes the best snow cones ever,” Jackson listed. “Harris Barbecue will be there with awesome barbecue, Chick-Fil-A, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Redneck Barbecue, Sister Sassy Sweets, and much more will be there as well. So we’ll have a lot of food out there.”
Without the sponsorship of Texas Ace Heating and Air, Access Self Storage, the City of Midlothian, Cowboy Party Rentals, Texas City Hall, One Way Church, MC Salon and Spa, Baylor Scott & White, Tarleton State University, Hardesty Law Office, Altus Emergency Center, and Eye Care Associates of Texas, PA, Jackson claimed the event wouldn’t be possible.
And as Oct. 21 nears, the Chamber invites the community to attend this year’s family-friendly festival for some excellent food, fun, and laughter.
“It’s going to be a great event, and there’s just so much energy and so much to do. There’s going to be a lot of people out there, and everybody will have a blast - so come and join us,” Jackson finished.
The 40th annual “Fall Festival and 5K” is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Midlothian ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium located on 1800 South 14th Street, Midlothian.
On-site registration for the 5K run opens at 6:30 a.m. and the run will commence at 8 a.m. The festival will be held from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information or to pre-register for the 5K, visit midlothianchamber.org or call (972)-723-8600.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer