Polk County is a popular place for fall festivals. Between Cedartown’s Fall Fest, Rockmart’s Riverwalk Festival, and Aragon’s Pumpkin Fest, there’s truly no shortage of opportunities to get out in the fall weather and enjoy oneself. Eastside’s Fall Festival, however, offered the usual autumn festivities and made sure the games, food, and activities were geared towards children. Nearly all the events were designed to make the elementary school kids feel they were in a private world designed just for them.
“This is the first fall festival Eastside has had in years,” Parent Teacher Organization member Valerie McBryde said. “There is the Riverwalk festival downtown, but events like that tend to be geared more towards adults, so I’m glad we have an event that’s aimed towards children.”
Spread throughout the school’s campus were inflatables, a petting zoo, hayrides, carnival games, a cake walk, face painting stations, fake tattoo stations, trunk or treat opportunities, local vendors, restaurant vendors, and much more. Many of the games and activities were Halloween themed giving youngsters an opportunity to stick their hands in a container of “eyeballs” or “brains,” and the trunk or treat stations made sure there was more than enough holiday candy to go around. A trackless train could be seen zooming children around the school, and the bounce castle was being used nearly constantly by the energetic youth. Many aspects of the event were free, but those who spent money on food, drinks, or games can rest assured knowing money earned will be put towards a better school.
“Attendance is a lot higher than expected.” McBryde said. “We want the kids to have fun, but we’re also raising money for updated playgrounds and general school upgrades to the bathrooms and stuff like that.”
Eastside has two playgrounds that have been static for years, and the school’s staff is looking to improve children’s playtime alongside other various parts of the school.
“We won’t know exactly how much we’ve raised until later in the week, but it’s come together nicely,” the PTO member mentioned.
Eastside’s festival stayed true to traditional festival structure by hosting a slew of vendors that surrounded the school’s gate to sell everything imaginable including fashion, accessories, crafts, food, and more. The vendors were almost reminiscent of earlier crafts festivals in Polk, and the shops gave the festival’s parents an opportunity to do some shopping.
While the festival was impressive, staff and organizers had a big helping hand from many sponsors who helped the event come together and would like to extend an emphatic thank you to sponsors Hometown Pizza and Grill, Merle Norman cosmetics, The Kiwanis Club, Sorrells Farm, State Farm Insurance, Tangles Hair Salon, Rockmart’s Raceway, Haney company, Sidekicks restaurant, Hammer Hard construction, Tiers of Joy cake company, The Frontier Steak House, Rockmart Family Dentistry, Robinson’s Muffles, Razzle Dazzle salon, Hamrick Tire and Automotive, Chick-fil-A, Allstate insurance, Day’s Chevrolet, Advance Rehabilitation, Arby’s, Century Bank, Dairy Queen, and Hometown Realty