Five years ago, the Greater Carbondale YMCA tried an experiment: a fall-themed carnival to which everyone — not just members — was invited. It was a hit, and the staff at the Y has been refining it ever since.
The organization will hold its sixth annual Fall Festival on Sunday, Sept. 30, 1-5 p.m. A full day of activities, including an outdoor concert, autumn inspired activities, as well as food sales, are planned for both outside and inside the facility at 82 N. Main St.
The event kicks off at 1 p.m. with a live chainsaw carving demonstration by Kevin Treat, the “Sawptician.” At 2 p.m., the musical group Simple Gifts will play a free concert and lead a spoons workshop.
Simple Gifts performs a wide variety of ethnic folk music, including lively Irish jigs, down-home American reels, hard-driving Klezmer freilachs, haunting Gypsy melodies and exotic Balkan dance tunes.
Free pony rides, Nubian and Nigerian dwarf goats and the Southwest Savory food truck will also be offered in the parking lot.
Once inside the YMCA, festival goers can participate in the cookie walk, filling a container with a variety of homemade cookies for just $8. The pumpkin painting station will be located in the lobby along with a fall-themed DIY photo booth.
In the pool area, open swim will feature the inflatables from 1-2:30 p.m. From 2:30 to 5 p.m. will be the Pumpkin Swim. A favorite activity, “donut on a string,” will also make a return.
Both gyms will be busy. The Totsky Gym will host three bounce houses and GaGa Ball. For those needing a little break of the noise, the Mancuso Gym will offer a sensory respite. Use the Imagination Playground, tumble zone and oversized family games like Connect Four, Jenga, and tic-tac-toe.
“We are very grateful to the businesses and individuals who have sponsored or donated towards making this all come together,” stated Heather Murphy, event coordinator. “Without their support and the hard work of our staff and committee members we wouldn’t be able to present an event of this magnitude.”
Sponsors are Trichillo Food Service, Grimm Construction, Custom Pools & Spas, Ann & Glenn Kraft, Dan Totsky and Steve Durkin.
For more information, find the event page on Facebook or call 570-282-2210.