The Oakhurst Community Park is guaranteed to be a hopping spot this Friday and Saturday - with specialty booths offering everything from collectibles to area wine samplings and hand-crafted beers, and lively entertainment for adults and children alike - all part of the 25th Annual Oakhurst Fall Festival.
Presented by the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, the festivities run 4 - 10 p.m., Oct. 13, and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Oct. 14. One of the largest events in Eastern Madera County, the Fall Festival has morphed from a one-day festival featuring wine and chocolate to a two-day event with activities for every age group.
“I’m very excited about the Oakhurst Fall Festival,” said festival chair Anne Driscoll. “It’s going to provide a great time for locals and visitors. We have so much good entertainment lined up for all ages, as well as local foods, wines and beer, and a variety of vendor booths. It’s going to be super fun and fabulous.”
This year the addition of a midway promises to up the fun factor.
Even though the ferris wheel was originally planned for the event, an even more popular ride - the Paratrooper - became available. The big slide, inflatable obstacle course, Tubs O’ Fun Ride and the Mindwinder will also excite attendees. Tickets for rides will be available for sale separately from admission into the festival.
An interactive Jedi Show is a special highlight this year. Families can come out 7 p.m., Friday to participate in interactive games, saber skills training, and an initiation ceremony with Jedi Oath. Light sabers that light up will be sold for $5. Princess Leia, Rey and two Jedi masters will be onhand to train hopeful, budding Jedi ... and who knows ... ominous dark forces just might show up. Will these young Jedi be prepared for a visit from the dark side? You’ll have to attend to find out.
Also new this year is the Oakhurst Rocks booth, where you can paint rocks to hide around the festival. In the “Where’s Woody” scavenger hunt, 65 photos of Woody will be scattered throughout vendor booths. A child can win small prizes, and adults collecting 40 will be entered into a raffle to win a two-night stay at The Redwoods in Yosemite.
The family-friendly venue also offers a wide variety of children’s activities such as bounce houses, balloon animals, face painting and story time with a Pete the Cat Meet n’ Greet, sponsored by Branches Books and Gifts.
As for musical entertainment, two bands will perform Friday night - the Meltwater Bridge Band (originals, blues, and rock music), and 82 Deluxe (country).
Early Saturday afternoon, Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce takes center stage, followed by Wack-A-Mole (fusion country and rock) and the Good Medicine Band (acoustic, modern folk rock, jam, and blues).
Oakhurst Ink will man a Print-On-Demand T-Shirt Booth (more like a trailer), where they can print festival shirts and custom shirts right then and there, sizes newborn - 5XL.
South Gate Brewery, Mammoth Brewery and 3 Monkeys Brewery will pour Saturday 10 a.m. -6 p.m., while the chamber will sell beer and wine on Friday. Idle Hour, Westbrook Wine Farm, Toca Madera, and Papagni are other participating wineries.
Food booths include Steven's Italian Ice, Mee Maw & Pee Paw (tri-tip, corndogs), Knights of Columbus (hamburgers), Indian Tacos, DB Kettle Corn, and Mexican food.
Cool Bean Coffee, a new vendor this year, will offer cold brew and seasonal favorites, assisted by the YHS Water Polo Team.
“It’s going to be a wonderful event and is sure to be a big hit with everyone,” chamber President Betty Linn said. “This is one festival you won’t want to miss.”
Admission $2, those 5 and under free. Rides, food and drinks are available at additional cost.
Details: The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce at (559) 683-7766, or visit www.OakhurstFallFestival.com.
Event Sponsors include Emadco, Walt Bannon Drilling, KYNO, Vulcan Materials Company, Sierra Tel, Yosemite Bank, Donaghy Sales/Budweiser, Tenaya Lodge, The Redwoods in Yosemite, Central Valley Community Bank, Oakhurst Grocery Outlet, Visit Yosemite/Madera County, Fullmer’s Appliance Repair, Jamison & Chappel, Donna Dozier at Trendz Hair Salon, Nation’s Lending, Ameriprise Financial, Branches Books & Gifts, and 47th Place Carpet One.