Perfect weather — with temperatures near 80 degrees, a light north wind and a solidly blue sky — blessed Midlothian’s 42nd annual Fall Festival on Saturday as thousands attended in the west parking lot of MISD Multipurpose Stadium.
Afterward, Midlothian Chamber of Commerce special events manager Allie Benham pronounced this year’s Fall Festival a rousing success.
“We were extremely happy with the crowd that showed up, with the vendors also,” Benham said. “They had a good time and got to enjoy it. We had some great entertainment out there. It was just a perfect day. It couldn’t have been better.”
Dozens of vendors, mostly with pop-up canopies, set up shop along the concourses, either selling wares or providing information on local causes. Main stage performances, dog shows, a petting zoo, a Boy Scout winter jacket drive and police and fire equipment displays went on throughout the morning and early afternoon.
The day started bright and early with the 5K Cupcake Run, which this year for the first time benefited the Heroes of Midlothian Foundation. Holding true to the race title, foundation secretary Stephanie Frankiewicz said Brookshire’s supplied cupcakes for all runners at the end of the race.
“It was a great run,” Frankiewicz said. “We had over 360 runners and we had a lot of great sponsors; Waxahachie Ford was a huge sponsor for us. It was beautiful weather.”
The top overall winner in the women’s division was Tracie Ackerheim of Cedar Hill in 19 minutes, 37 seconds; and the male overall winner was Tanner Henderson of Midlothian in 16 minutes flat.
The Midlothian Chamber had managed Cupcake Runs in the past, but this year is the first time the Heroes of Midlothian Foundation has taken over the 5K run. The foundation was founded seven years ago and provides short- and long-term financial support to police, fire and military families in and around Ellis County.
Frankiewicz said the foundation has held its own Heroes Run on Armed Forces Day in May for the last seven years, but the Midlothian Chamber this year invited the foundation to hold a fundraising run as part of the Fall Festival.
“They did awesome,” the Midlothian Chamber’s Benham said. “They had a bunch of runners, it was a beautiful day, and they did a great job with getting everything going. We were very excited to be working with them.”
As the city of Midlothian continues to grow, Benham said the annual Fall Festival will continue to get even bigger and better.
“We definitely feel like it’s going to grow,” Benham said. “We’ve got big plans for next year and we are brainstorming some ideas about how to make it even more exciting.”