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Family Day kicks off 100th annual Fall Festival

Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Sunday before the first official day of the Fall festival means Family Day on West Franklin Street.

The day also marks the moments of finishing touches before things really get going.

The familiar sounds of the Fall Festival are officially back as the 100th annual celebration kicked off on Sunday.

“Family Day is an amazing time so everyone can come down and enjoy it, there are no crowds, no anything,” Todd Helfert with the West Side Nut Club said. “Just a small kiddie park open only and we have a lot of fun.”

This year is highly anticipated after the 100th festival was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had effects on everyone involved.

“This is one of our favorite places to come, it’s a unique festival here in Evansville,” Danny Huston, the CEO of North America Midway said. “The people here in Evansville make all of our employees feel really welcome. It’s one of the largest festivals our company does in the country. And last year with the things that went on in the country, our business was shut down.”

Those attending the festival this year say they are comfortable with attending

“I think that it’s great that they’re having it this year,” festivalgoer Morgan Tenbarge said. “And we are 100% comfortable, it’s nice to do what you’re comfortable with. If you want to wear a mask you can, if you don’t want to, that’s fine too.”

Half Pot tickets are a hot topic during festival week, and this year purchasing those tickets will be a little different.

“We do not have a drive-thru for the half pot this year, we do have four different places you can buy a half pot ticket on the street,” Helfert said. “And we would love for everyone to come down and enjoy the festival, and while they’re here we would love for them to buy a half pot ticket. The half pot booths are set up on Wabash and Franklin, and then mid-way on both ends.”

But Monday starts the first full day of food and fun. So what can attendees expect?

Of course, the food booths will be open, but there are several events slated as well.

Starting at 11 a.m. Monday, celebrity karaoke kicks off at the Bosse Foundation Stage, which goes until 2 p.m.

Rides will also open at 2 p.m.

At 6 p.m. Monday, there will be appearances by the University of Southern Indiana and University of Evansville basketball teams, while the lighthouse parade begins at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, amateur hour night one kicks off at 8 p.m.

14 News will have a team covering the festival on West Franklin Street all week.

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