Second festival planned for Paul Grist State Park

Published 8:46 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2017

After a successful fall festival at Paul M. Grist State Park in October, the Friends of Paul Grist decided it was time to hold another event and invite the community out to see the park and support local vendors with a trade day.

“A lot of people came to the fall festival, and we know a lot of people that have asked that we have a trade day,” said Anita Ellison, president of the Friends of Paul Grist. “A lot of people just asked if we would have one, and that’s what we decided to do.”

Ellison said in October, park supporters had no idea how much support they would get from the community for the fall festival, and they were overwhelmed with number of people that attended.

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“We had no idea that amount of support that we would get. We were thinking maybe 200 or 300 people. We wound up with over 1,300 people that came through the fall festival, and that’s not counting the children that came through that were 5 years and under,” she said.

“We felt from that that there was an interest in the public to participate in something like this and just for us, it excites us that people come out to the park to see the beauty out there.”

Ellison said she is hoping to have at least 50 vendors at the event but is happy to welcome even more.

“We’re not turning anybody down,” she said.

Ellison said several vendors have already signed up, and she is expecting vendors like boutiques, baked goods, arts and crafts, food vendors and more.

The event is a fundraiser for the park, but it’s also a time for people to get out and explore and see what Paul Grist has to offer.

“There’s still so many people that don’t know the park is there that even live in the area. We just try to have events so that people will become more familiar with the park,” Ellison said.

“It’s just a really nice place to come and spend time by yourself, or if you want to come with your family and be outdoors.”

Ellison said the money raised will go toward to the upkeep of the park including maintaining the horse and walking trails, along with repairing and replacing some of the bridges on site and some of the money will also go toward future activities and events at the park.

“We’re hoping to start having some camping events for kids and some things like that,” Ellison said.

The trade day will be held May 6 at 9 a.m., and the entry fee will be $5 per person. Children 5 years old and under are free.

Vendors are encouraged to go ahead and reserve a spot for $10 by calling Ellison at (334) 419-3271 or by messaging Friends of Paul Grist on Facebook.