This weekend we can all enjoy a break from the constant barrage of political advertisements and gather together in our lovely Oakhurst Community Park to enjoy the annual Fall Festival sponsored by the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce. Along with the chamber, the ladies from the Wild Wonderful Women and those wonderful mem"bears" of the Mountain Bear Fan Club will be combining all their talents to bring about the chocolate, wine and art festival now called the Fall Festival.
No matter what it is called, it is a great way to have a great time. The weather folks are predicting what could only be described as "Chamber of Commerce Weather" and the vendors have many items to sell to us as we begin to prepare for the holiday season.
There will also be the usual boutiques and holiday sales coming up in November and December, so save a few dollars to spend there. I always enjoy the lunch the Christ Church Anglican ladies serve, and the ladies at the Our Lady of the Sierra Catholic Church make sure I get my treats, along with See's candy. There are other church sales as well and I will cover them in a future column.
At this weekend's Fall Festival, there are many menu items from which to select, so come hungry. The Chocolate Pavilion has always been a big hit and the silent auction items next to that pavilion allows you to set your price for that vacation get-away, gift basket, or dining out certificate. There are also many examples of art and jewelry available for sale, along with clothing.
Now I know that most guys, myself included, would probably rather endure a root canal rather than shop all day. Problem solved -- because while the ladies are shopping there will be a Corvette show at the other end of the park. Please don't attack me on being sexist here, as I realize some ladies enjoy the cars and some men enjoy shopping, but I think it fair to figure more men would rather look at the cars.
So why go? It is a chance to see many of our neighbors and enjoy the park on a beautiful day in autumn.
The vendors could sure use the boost in their sales too, which translates into a better bottom line for them and you get great items at great prices. On this weekend we can wander through the park eating chocolate without any guilt, enjoy a sip or two of wonderful wines -- and now this year, some great beers -- produced in Madera and Mariposa Counties while we raise many dollars for local charities in the process.
Do we like having Scouts and Little League here? Do we as a community benefit with a Boys and Girls Club along with other youth activities? Aren't we better off having a few museums in our area to help foster understanding about ourselves and our past? Doesn't it make sense to help the SPCA and other animal organizations? These charities may not have a booth or table in the vendor area but rest assured that there is a group that supports those charities trying to sell something to help those in need here. This festival helps support scholarships as well and so it is a win-win situation.
So I would encourage you to make time on one or both days of this weekend to enter a world that small rural communities enjoy and which don't exist in urban areas.
It is the people that make this place great so let's gather up the friends and family and enjoy this year's Fall Festival.
Music, wine, beer, chocolate, classic cars, chocolate, fast foods, chocolates, auction items, chocolate, and friendly people.
How sweet it is.
Did I mention the chocolate?