By Ashley Shuler
Nothing says fall like caramel apples, hay rides and 70 degree highs.
All of this can be found at the free Franklin fall festival, which has been running for over two decades.
The festival is within a 15-minute walk from campus and takes place tomorrow, Oct. 3.
The festival will have various activities throughout the day, including a parade at 1 p.m., live music and a beer garden.
A full event schedule can be found on the Franklin Parks and Recreation website.
For food, the festival’s vendors will serve barbecue, kabobs, pizza, garlic knots, hot dogs, hamburgers, kettle corn, ice cream, baked goods, hot chocolate and much more.
Holly Johnston, a 1993 Franklin College graduate and Franklin Parks and Recreation’s Community Events and Programs Director, said the festival is Franklin’s “kick-off to fall.”
“It’s free and students could come before or after the football game,” Johnston said. “It’s a fun time.”
Johnston said she wants more students to participate in downtown Franklin events.
“I would like for students to see what the city of Franklin is like,” Johnston said. “It’s a couple blocks from campus, and you can see what we do in the community.”
Senior Sarah Phillips, a Franklin native who has worked at Franklin Parks and Recreation since her senior year of high school, said she helps plan community events.
Phillips has gone to the festival for years now and has worked the center’s informational booth.
“[I like going] because I get to see different people in the community,” Phillips said. “I get to reconnect with family friends and see people I don’t normally see and give back to the community.”
Junior Addyson Hardman is on her third year of working at Franklin Parks and Recreation.
Although Hardman won’t be working a booth at the festival this year, she is going to be dressed up in a cookie costume for another community job at Suzy’s Teahouse and Bakery.
“I think it’s seriously important to get involved in the community, no matter how long you’re in that community,” Hardman said. “You just get a better understanding of what’s going on around you.”
Freshman Mohanid Akermawi, a Franklin resident who works at Franklin Parks and Recreation, said his favorite part of the festival can be summed up in one word: food.
“But there are multiple booths, not just food,” Akermawi said. “I normally help run a booth during the festival or walk around handing out flyers.”
John Shafer, director of the counseling center and Franklin Parks and Recreation board member, has lived in Franklin for 33 years.
“I wish more students, faculty and staff would get involved in the fall festival,” Shafer said. “It’s a very fun part of the Franklin city experience.”
Shafer said the fall festival is the “ultimate in small college town life.”
“You don’t have to go to Indy for a festival,” Shafer said. “It’s right there.”
The Franklin fall festival takes place tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Franklin Parks and Recreation will put on many other events this fall, including a costume swap on Monday, a 5K run Oct. 23, and “Trick Your Trunk” on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Your Saturday breakdown
8 a.m.: Rise and shine
Wake up, throw on a light fall sweater and round up your friends.
9 a.m.: Farmer’s market trip
Make your way to the corner of Jefferson and Jackson street in downtown Franklin for the last farmer’s market of the season.
10 a.m.: Most important meal of the day
For a grab-and-go breakfast, try a farmer’s market pastry and a pumpkin spice latte from Benjamin’s Coffeehouse. If you want to sit down, dig into some chocolate chip pancakes at Ann’s Restaurant or apple cinnamon french toast at Court Street Café.
11 a.m.: Start browsing
Visit the booths at the downtown street fair during the first hour of the Franklin fall festival. Venders will have various goods ranging from jewelry to plants.
12 p.m.: Munch on lunch
The festival will host various street vendors, serving everything from barbeque ribs to kettle corn. If you’re feeling fried fish, stop by the Lion’s Club booth.
1:30 p.m.: Cheer on the football team
Jaunt back to campus to watch Franklin football take on Manchester.
3 p.m.: Snakes on the main stage
Head back to the festival for an exotic animal show by Jungle John and Alligator Aaron.
4 p.m.: Get your shop on
Stroll through downtown Franklin’s various antique shops and boutiques. They’re bound to have some fall festival sales.
7:30 p.m.: Movie magic
Attend a showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the historic Artcraft Theatre on 57 N. Main St. Tickets are only $4 with student I.D.
9 p.m.: Dance the night away
The band Tastes Like Chicken—which is a great band name if we’ve ever heard one—will be performing from 7–10 p.m.