CHESHIRE — The second day of the annual Cheshire Fall Festival was marked by plenty of sunshine, seasonably warm weather and a host of activities for all ages.
The festival, which is a collaboration between the Town of Cheshire and the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, took place Friday night and all day Saturday at Bartlem Park. The first day was called “Food Truck Friday,” while Saturday included crafters, vendors, a car show, food trucks, children’s activities, music, fireworks and more.
Preparations for the 34th annual festival began in January, said Yetta Augur, chamber president.
“We’re so excited that it’s happening today,” Augur said. “There were a few little hiccups, but it is going to be a beautiful day and most importantly, all these businesses are going to get exposure.”
The festival lineup Saturday included 75 vendors, 33 crafters and 13 food trucks spread out across the park.
Vendors included a variety of local organizations like Olympic Taekwondo Academy, the Cheshire Public Library, the Cheshire Pollinator Pathway, Cheshire Public Schools and JC Karate.
“It’s one place where everybody can get a sense of all the different civic organizations and also our businesses that are here and make our town great,” said Beth Crowley, director of the Cheshire Public Library. “I think just being able to walk around and meet the people who are behind the scenes often and you don’t get to see, it’s nice to make those personal connections with your customers or your residents or your patrons.”
Joanna Debear, associate director of the Cheshire Pollinator Pathway, said the festival was a “perfect” way to educate the community about the organization.
“We’ve got lots of people coming by, hopefully they’ll stop in and ask questions and we can educate them on how important it is to avoid pesticides and plant natives and support those ecosystems,” Debear said.
The festival also included hot air balloon rides from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For the children, there were inflatables. Local musicians performed throughout the day.
For many residents, the festival is an annual tradition.
Keith Grayeb, who grew up in Cheshire, came this year with his family, including his two young children. He feels as if the festival “has grown” over the years.
“This is the new boomer generation, all millennials are having kids, so there’s just a million kids and I feel like there is a lot more community engagement than there used to be, so it’s good to see that there is fun stuff being made available in person for all generations,” Grayeb said.