Alger Fall Festival full of new activities
ALGER — The Alger Parks and Rec organization is looking at a bigger fall festival than ever in its third year, with activities running from noon until 9 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the Dwight Schaff Memorial Park.
Parks and Rec Chairwoman Marion Chard said the group has organized a mix of events open to children and adults, from a treasure hunt and balloon toss, to a three-legged race, a sack race, and a pumpkin relay.
Along with a bounce house, activity tables will be set up for kids to color pictures and decorate pumpkins, Chard said, while adults can take part in horseshoes, shuffleboard and a softball game.
While some events will cost a little money to play — plinko, a guessing game, and the cake walk all cost 25 cents, while the euchre tournament has a $10 entry fee — Chard said practically everything else will have no cost.
“Most everything going on throughout the day is free,” she said. “We’re going to have some food and refreshments. We will be grilling some hot dogs, we will have pop and water and we’ll have popcorn — just a few little things, some really light fare during the day.”
A chili cookoff will also be running from around 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., Chard said. Participants will be bringing in their entries, and attendees can try out the chili and vote for which one they like most. Chard said currently there are about 10 entrants, and anyone else interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop in at Hank’s of Alger or Dean’s Bait & Tackle.
Chard said the festival will also feature a book signing from the author of “But Dad,” Jay Fiondella of Lincoln Park. The book is a comical take on fatherhood, she said. There are also two musical performances scheduled for the festival this year from local musicians. Solo blues artist Donald Benjamin from Standish will be performing at 6 p.m., while Alger-based rock and blues band 202 will perform at 7 p.m.
This year will also see the return of the giant pumpkin contest, where attendees can guess how much a large pumpkin, courtesy of Len Meziy, weighs.
“He’s also supplying a couple pumpkins for the pumpkin relay race, and some pumpkins and gourds to decorate the festival,” Chard said.
The Dwight Schaff Memorial Park — also known as the Alger Park — has been spruced up throughout the year by the Parks and Rec group, Chard said, to make it look nice both at the festival and year-round. She said the shuffleboard deck has been restored, banners were donated by Griffon Beverage in West Branch, and the concessions stand is nearing completion. The park’s formal Dwight Schaff signage has also been rediscovered and restored to its place near the entrance.
“Years before I moved here, they decided to rename the park in honor of a great guy who did a lot for the community named Dwight Schaff. His sign disappeared a long time ago, and a few months ago the board was talking, and wondered what happened to the old sign,” Chard said. “Then we found the sign in the recycling barn and restored it.”
Chard added the festival also has around a dozen arts and crafts booths selling goods this year, and the Alger Parks and Rec will be selling T-shirts as well.
The park is located on Henry Street in Alger. A schedule of activities is available online at www.algerparksandrec.org under “News,” and at the festival itself.