Wewa prepares to host first Fall Festival

Sharon Thibodaux  Barrier couldn’t remember who had the idea to put on the Wewahitchka Fall Festival this year. When she asked, her boss told her to say the city commission decided to put on the event collectively. 

Regardless, she is excited for the community to gather this Saturday, Oct.  2. 

Barrier has been working out the intricacies of the Fall Festival for months now – booking entertainment, attracting vendors and spreading the word via social media.

On Saturday, Wewahitchka’s first ever fall festival will take place in Lake Alice Park, and Barrier hopes there will be festivals for years to come. 

 The city is going to try to make it an annual (event), but this is the first one,” Barrier said. “And so far, I’ve gotten a huge response from vendors. I’m very pleased with what I have for a first-year event.” 

So far, Barrier said the festival has gotten over 7,000 hits on its Facebook page, and with sunny weather forecast for this weekend, she is hopeful for a large turnout. 

“The community needs it.  Everybody’s been locked up with nothing to do and just been blah,” she said. “I don’t think the park can hold 7,000 people, but I hope we get a large crowd like we usually do for the Tupelo Festival.  And for Tupelo, it’s usually shoulder to shoulder, so I hope they pack the park out.” 

Festival attendees will enjoy an apple pie baking contest, live music, magic shows at 10 30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and a diverse selection of food vendors. 

Already on tap are fried green tomatoes, hand-dipped corn dogs, ribbon fries with or without chili and cheese, nachos plain or loaded, chicken tenders, fried Oreos, sausage sandwich, funnel cakes in plain, pumpkin, red velvet, and bacon maple flavors, hot wings, fried shrimp, candy apples, peanut brittle, pork skins, boiled peanuts, pulled pork tacos, an assortment of candies, kettle corn, hamburgers and hot dogs, tacos, roasted corn, smoked turkey legs, seafood gumbo, chicken sausage gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, Cajun wings, Crawfish etouffee, bread pudding, and even more.

Barrier said getting the community involved has been one of the most rewarding parts of the festival planning process. Even the local elementary school students have been helping by creating decorations and submitting scarecrows for the scarecrow decorating contest. 

Barrier says visitors are welcome to stop by Lake Alice Park any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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