Parks and Rec to host annual fall festival

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 22, 2016

 Families enjoy the petting farm at the 2014 event. The petting farm will return for the fifth annual Fall Fest, which is set to take place Oct. 1.

Families enjoy the petting farm at the 2014 event. The petting farm will return for the fifth annual Fall Fest, which is set to take place Oct. 1.

File photo by Sarah Purlee

WEST BLOOMFIELD — As the first leaves of autumn begin to drop, the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission is celebrating the season with the fifth annual Fall Fest at Marshbank Park noon-4 p.m. Oct. 1. 

The Fall Fest is one of the commission’s biggest events, next to Touch a Truck. Free activities include fall-themed games and crafts, live music from Miss Paula and the Candy Bandits, inflatable bouncers, and balloon animals. 

Marketing Coordinator Meagan Kurnat said the family favorites — the petting farm, the inflatable bouncers and the hayrides — will return. A naturalist table will feature a leaf craft, which will coincide with a talk about what animals are doing in the autumn season, such as hibernating or migrating.

“Those seem to always be a big hit,” Kurnat said about the family favorites. “The first time we did hayrides was last year, so we’re doing that again this year. We’re ready for the masses.” 

This year, the commission decided to extend the event for an extra hour so more people can join in on the fun, Kurnat said. 

“It’s a great day in the park. It is our kickoff-to-fall event. There’s tons of activities going on. The vast majority of it is free. It’s ‘welcome to the fall season’ for everybody,” Kurnat said. 

Some activities carry a small fee. The pony rides and quad bungee jumper each cost $3, and face painting costs $5. The Kona Ice and Hunter House food trucks will be on-site. This is a cash-only event.

“They can get a little something to eat and sit on bales of straw or at the picnic tables set up in front of the stage for musical entertainment,” said Nancy Keener, recreation coordinator. 

New this year in the fall games area are inflatable pony races. Keener said that during the races, people will bounce on balls that have the shape of a horse’s head attached to them. 

“I think that’ll be a fun activity. Because the balls are different sizes, a whole family can race each other. I think it’ll be another fun, low-competitive activity.”

Dogs are not permitted in the park during the special event. 

Keener said those who haven’t attended in the past should check out the festival because it’s a great opportunity for families to spend time outdoors at a park. 

“Hopefully, if the weather is nice, it will be some nice, low-key time to spend with your family. There’s something for everyone,” Keener said.

Marshbank Park is located at 2805 Hiller Road in West Bloomfield. For more information about the event, visit www.westbloomfieldparks.org.