Fall fest features new activities at annual event

Fireworks, wagon rides and dachshunds are new on the lineup for this year’s annual Franklin Fall Festival.

The free event, taking place tomorrow in downtown Franklin, features food, vendors and activities all day – and it’s only a five-minute walk from the college.

“We invite students to come down and enjoy it,” said Holly Johnston, the community events and program director of Franklin Parks and Recreation. “Just come down and see what it’s about, especially since it’ll be a nice day.”

Johnston, along with Recreation Director Sharon Hood, chairs the event, which is an annual favorite among Franklin residents.

After a cancelation on the Fourth of July due to weather, the fest will feature nighttime fireworks – a first for the downtown venue.

“Depending on how all this goes, it may become a tradition,” Johnston said.

Some of the most popular activities include the parade, which will start at Northwood Elementary and end on South Main Street, where festivities will be in full swing. The route is new this year to avoid Jefferson Street construction.

Awards will be given to the best organization in the parade, including Mayor’s Choice and Franklin Parks and Recreation Award.

“People climb out of the woodwork for the parade,” Hood said. “A lot of people will decorate wagons and the backs of pickup trucks. There are some really clever ones.”

Dachshund Derby 2011 Photo provided by Mallory Carnes, Marketing Coordinator Franklin Parks & Recreation

The festival is bringing back the annual dachshund derby after a hiatus last year. All proceeds from the derby will benefit the Johnson County Humane Society.

“We have people from all over central Indiana who bring their dachshunds,” Johnston said. “You can see those people walking their dogs all over town all day. It is so fun to watch.”

Other features of the festival include more than 80 vendors, free wagon rides and a baking contest, which challenges bakers to create dishes with peach as the main ingredient. There are cash prizes for winners, and anyone can enter before 11 a.m. tomorrow.

The festival will round out with live entertainment from Blue River Band and a beer garden.

“There will be people from 5 years old in a stroller with their parents to 80-year-olds,” Johnston said. “There will be all kinds of people. It’s just fun.”

A breakdown of festival events is listed below.

  • 11 a.m. Baking contest entry deadline
  • 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Lion’s Club Fish Fry
  • 12–1 p.m. Hill Valley Ramblers
  • 1 p.m. Parade
  • 2–5 p.m. Free carriage rides
  • 3–4 p.m. Ruditoonz performance
  • 3:30 p.m. Dachshund Derby Race
  • 7–10 p.m. Blue River Band performance
  • 9 p.m. Fireworks


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About Leigh Durphey 32 Articles

Leigh Durphey is the copy chief for The Franklin. She is an English and secondary education major with a multimedia journalism minor. She’s committed to various English-related activities on campus, including the role of president of the English honorary society Sigma Tau Delta. In her free time, Leigh enjoys reading, crafting and spending time with her dog, Bear.

This is Leigh’s fourth year in a leadership role on staff. She previously held the executive editor position.

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