Fall festival set to return to Grist State Park

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

Planning is under way for this year’s fall festival at Paul M. Grist State Park.

Anita Ellison, a volunteer with the Friends of Paul M. Grist State Park group, said last year’s festival was a huge success with 50-60 vendors and an estimated 1,300 people coming to the park, and they are excited about having the festival again.

“We are very excited that people are still supporting the park and all the enthusiasm that we’ve seen all year from our event last year,” Ellison said. “We are getting so much support from the citizens of Dallas County and the surrounding areas, and it’s just amazing.”

The group just started taking vendors this week, and the festival is already near half capacity.

“I already have 41 [vendors] so far, and that’s just in a week since opening it up and saying we are taking vendor applications,” Ellison said Thursday. “It just shows the support they have for keeping the park open and helping with the activities there.”

Ellison said they are taking a maximum of 95 vendors, whether they are selling food, arts and crafts or other items. They are also looking to expand the game area for children.

“We’re looking at hopefully making the games for the children because that’s what we really want this to be about, the kids,” she said. “We’re working on making the games a lot better than they were last year, and of course we’re still going to have the pony ride and the pumpkin patch.”

The festival was started as a way to get people interested in coming to the park after it was taken over by Dallas County from the state in December of 2015.

“We try to make it where people want to come out there and get their curiosity up about what it’s about out there,” she said.

Ellison said the park is a beautiful place for people to go and have fun, and it’s something she hopes many people get the opportunity to do.

“If you’ve never been to the park, it’s kind of breathtaking for the Dallas County area to have something that people can come out and enjoy like that,” she said. “If you’ve never been out there, when you come down the road and see the lake and the area out there, it’s almost breathtaking.”

This year’s fall festival is scheduled for Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. until. Anyone interested in being a vendor or building a children’s game can contact Ellison by phone by calling (334) 419-3271 or messaging her on Facebook.