By Sheila Fann
The Warren County Fairgrounds will be silent for only a couple weeks after the fair thanks to the Fall Freedom Festival.
The event is being held as an alternative to the Autumn Street Fair, which was canceled Sept. 8 by Leadership McMinnville, which is an arm of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce. The one-day Fall Freedom Festival is slated to be held Saturday, Oct, 2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lynessa Bell, one of the approximately 15 organizers, explained, “When news of the cancellation began to circulate, several of us heard from friends and neighbors that had reserved booth spaces who had put much time, money, and creative energy into it. Because it was cancelled at such a late notice, these people had nowhere to go in hopes of recouping their costs.”
Melissa Dorrell, resounded the sentiment by adding, “I have never been to the Autumn Street Fair, but I hated to know of those who would lose money by the cancellation so we wanted to help.”
The first day of vendor applications on Thursday drew a crowd of 58 vendors. There are 150 booth spaces available. Also, many members of the community have offered to volunteer in order to make the event successful.
“They will support in the areas of parking assistance, first aid, general ground maintenance, and the registration table where there will be gifts galore given away,” said Bell. “Admission and parking are free.”
When asked if the event will accommodate those who wish to social distance, Bell advised the booths had additional footage and would be placed inside and outside the arena.
“This is not about any one person, group, or business,” said Bell. “It’s about community.”
The festival will have booths that include handmade items and crafts, boutique retail booths, health and wellness, civic organizations, churches, a variety of food, and much more. Organizers will be accepting booth applications thru Sept. 25. If you would like to be a part of this this event, please call Sharon Long at 719-367-6701.