Last Saturday the Oconee Chamber Fall Festival attracted thousands of Oconee and Clarke county residents.
In its 43rd year, the annual event has become known as a premiere arts & crafts festival, according to the Oconee Chamber of Commerce website.
Held on the 3rd Saturday in October every year in downtown Watkinsville, the outdoor festival hosted over 200 vendors and 20,000 attendees.
Vendors included Wood N Creations, Southern Pickens, Classic City Gift as well as Hillbilly Bob’s Soda, SouthPaw BBQ and Nedza’s Waffles.
One vendor who has had a booth set up for the last six years was pleased with the turnout.
“We have always been impressed with the large crowds the festival brings,” said Dave Chase of Dave’s Heaven Sent Sauce, who was pulling all-nighters the week leading up to the event to create his BBQ and hot sauces ready, bottled and labeled. “This year, in particular, our big-ticket items were the first things to go and quickly.”
The ever-growing event garnered many first-time visitors as well.
“I enjoy going to fall festivals with my family but my husband and I were not expecting it to be as large as it was,” Athens resident Melissa Toledo said. “There was definitely so much to see, buy and eat.”
Toledo said her family enjoyed some good old-fashioned corn dogs and watching their son play in the corn pit and pet the farm animals, especially because the train ride was not functioning.
Although the train ride for small children was having mechanical issues before the afternoon hit, there were plenty of activities for children of all ages to participate in.
As a family-friendly event, there were hayrides to and from select parking lots, the KidZone Rock which included a climbing wall, spider Jump, inflatables, and pony rides.
The Oconee Chamber of Commerce hopes to continue to host longtime vendors and attendees and attract more newcomers.
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