Fall festival exceeds expectations, shows how much park means to community

Published 5:05 pm Saturday, October 22, 2016

Paul M. Grist State Park means more to people in Selma and Dallas County than what people thought. Saturday showed that when droves of people made their way down the winding road that leads to the park and took part in the fall festival the park held Saturday.

Anita Ellison, who helped organize the event, said just an hour and a half after the gates opened, the festival exceeded its own expectations. And that’s because of the number of people that showed up and showed their support for the park that was closed by the state a year ago and taken over by the county last December.

It was devastating news to hear last year that the state did not have the funds to keep the park open, but county leaders did not let that bad news last long. Dallas County Commission Chairman Kim Ballard and his team of commissioners worked out a deal with the state and took over operations of the park. The park is now funded by the county, and it looks as good as it ever did. Seeing people come out to the fall festival made us proud because so much work has been put into the park by the county and the Friends of Paul M. Grist volunteer group.

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More than 40 vendors were set up at the festival and hundreds of people attended the festival.

The community should be proud of itself for showing its appreciation for the park and the work put into it. We’re sure the people that put on the festival are proud as well, and they should be.

We hope to see the county continue to run the park and make it a success. Places like Paul Grist Park are important to a community, and it is surely important to this one. We encourage everyone who went to the fall festival to continue to show their support by going to the park and taking their children and grandchildren. It’s important to enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer.