A Fun Day for the Community
By Vonnie Zepeda, CCA Board Member and Fall Festival General Manager
Here’s a slideshow capturing some of the fun on the day of the 2021 Carson Fall Festival. (Click arrows on the left or right of the photo or the dots below to view the slides).
We thank the Taos Community Foundation for their generous financial support of our Festival.
In the five days running up to the the Fall Festival planned for October 10, the weather forecast looked pretty bad and the CCA board reluctantly made contingency plans involving moving various activities into the fire station or cafe. This was not ideal but, given the publicity that had been posted or broadcast, canceling was out of the question. A dedicated and wonderful team of volunteers had done a lot of the prep and we knew we would just have to wing it.
On the day of the festival, board members and volunteers assembled at the Carson Cafe grounds at 8 am. Despite the overcast sky, the weather forecast for the day was looking better. So we decided to go ahead and set up as planned. Soon, teams of volunteers were busy rigging the tarp over the stage under Craig Osen’s supervision, and Craig also directed a bus to be moved into position to provide shelter for the two BBQ grills. Rob Hughes and Peter Allen hauled tables and chairs, a pop-up shelter, and signs from the CCA Quonset. Other board members and volunteers helped set up pop-up shelters, signage, equipment, and props for various activities. As Maurice Palinski and Tony Bardin strung up lines of colorful flags, and booths and activity venues took shape, little breaks appeared in the clouds and we began to feel more optimistic about the event. There was so much good will and positive team spirit, how could it not be a great event?! And it turned out to be so.
As the sun slowly burned through the clouds and Roving Desert Review struck up the opening music, a steady stream of people started to come through. By the time David “Kritter” Krout and Green Oaks took over the stage, the wind had died down and there was enough sunshine to add real warmth to the day. The stage and CCA booths, positioned on the north and south sides, and flanked by booths and activity areas, formed a nice sheltered arena in which festival goers could mingle and visit with neighbors, dance, or sit and enjoy the sun, music and food, or wander off to check out vendors and various activities—archery, bakesale, corn hole, darts, junior sack race, horseshoes, and silent auction.
The efforts of volunteers in soliciting raffle prizes and selling raffle tickets was reflected in the great prizes gathered and ticket pre-sales, as well as brisk sales during the festival. Given the number of prizes to be handed out, we decided to hold three drawings spaced throughout the afternoon, starting with prizes in the lower prize range and working up to the highest ($25–$49, $50–$89, $90–$1000). This seemed to work well as people gathered around the stage during breaks in the music to watch the ticket drawing or help draw tickets, and find out if they had won anything, and happy winners picked up their prizes from the CCA booth.
Given the uncertain weather right up to the morning of the festival, we were very happy at the way the day turned out. The 2021 Carson Fall Festival was a great success by several measures: From the number of participants, the fun that was had, the number of people with booths, the amount of food eaten, the number of prizes solicited and distributed, and the funds raised for the CCA.
The CCA Board wants to thank all those in the community who helped. In alphabetical order these include Peter Allen for his great work on the raffle and selling tickets, Katherine Babka for help on the CCA booth and tear down, Krystal Cretecos for kids’ activities, Paul and Bonny Gary for cooking food, Dustin Heyta for organizing archery lessons and contest, Jeff Holland for cooking food, Kimberly Howell for general help on the day, Jeremiah Hughes for creating and organizing the darts contest, our own Kritter Kroute and the Green Oaks for music, Mike Lindsay for organizing the horseshoes tournament, Anita Lovely for fund raising, publicity, and MC work, Bill Marshall for providing and setting up our PA system, Brian Mehrens for his chicken legs, Craig Osen for lending us the venue, Maurice Palinski for providing the flags and organizing their stringing, Deborah Perrin for her work as cashier, Rita Robbins for general help on the day, and wonderful swing dance demonstration with partner Gregg Robbins who also helped with setup and tear down, the Roving Desert Review for opening music, Taos Community Foundation for their financial support, and Sharon Wilbur, Traci McCall, Barb Hughes and Deborah Perrin for the bake sale. Thanks to everyone who attended, bought food, baked for the bake sale, and took part in the games. Please let us know if we have forgotten anyone. And we look forward to seeing you at the next festival!