Breakdown of the history of the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival

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Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:17 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 3:23 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Thousands of people pack West Franklin Street each year for the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, which has evolved in its 101 years.

West Side Nut Club Historian, Doug DeMoss, took 14 News on a trip down memory lane.

The past 101 years of the fall festival are full of rich history.

In 1921, a group of West Side businessmen decided to form an organization that would handle the duties of their Halloween-themed festival. It started as a one-night Halloween party with a masked ball and a pet parade.

In 1940, they introduced three carnival rides and some animal exhibits. The festival really took off in the 1950s when they first introduced food booths and live entertainment, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Nut Club.

“In 1997 we bought Jerry’s Market and that big lot and that was torn down and we repaved the lot,” said DeMoss. “We could bring in a lot more rides. We actually have almost as many rides as the Indiana State Fair.”

DeMoss says it wasn’t until 1947, 26 years after the Fall Festival was created, that the Nut Club actually made a profit of only $340.

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Here’s more from 6:30 a.m.

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