By Terry Harpole
For the WPT
A large crowd came out to the Mathiston Park for the first-ever FunTober Autumn Festival on Oct. 26.
That Saturday started as a rather cool morning. The festivities began at 8 a.m. and continued throughout the day, until 4, with many activities for all the family.
According to some of the ladies with the Mathiston Civic League (sponsor), 78 vendors had signed up in advance and 68 did make it; all reported a good day.
Many vendors were selling handcrafts such as yard signs and other various items such as shirts. Of course, there were many food vendors, including even some baked and canned goods. Some of the workers were kept busy making cotton candy for the grownups and the kids, who also enjoyed the children’s slides.
Area musicians performed in the park, which all enjoyed.
Contests kept the people occupied, such as a bake-off contest and pumpkin-carving contest, along with pet costume and children’s costume contests.
The pet and children’s costume contests were probably the hardest for judges to make a decision, as the parents had all done such a great job of making the costumes.
The winners of the children’s costume contest were awarded a free movie ticket and a chicken dinner.
The winner of the pumpkin-carving contest was 9-year-old Mackenzie Turnage, who took more than an hour to carve Bigfoot.
The bake-off contest winners were Leah Huerkamp from Mathiston in the pies and cobbler division, with caramel pie and apple crisp, and Shelia Coleman from Starkville for her carrot cake.
Some of the townspeople working with the project of building a memorial for the veterans of Mathiston who died in wars were set up at the edge of the park if anyone wanted to make a donation. The work on the ground for the memorial and a future new city hall could be seen.
The people who planned and worked to prepare for the FunTober Autumn Festival in just a few short weeks before the event are to be commended for having a day that could bring so many people into town.