By Martin Couch
Last year, there were over 14,000 folks that showed up to enjoy Bryant's annual Fall Fest at Mills Park and Bryant Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rae Ann Fields thinks there will be more when the festival kicks off at 8 on Saturday morning.
"There is going to be a lot of stuff for the kids," Fields said.[more]
Kids will race their Pinewood Derby cars and there will be a cup stacking contest to test hand-eye coordination as some of the newer events. There will also be more than 100 vendor booths on display. The main attraction this year will be a 4 p.m. concert from Tragikly White.
"This is a huge deal," Fields said. "There will be parking at the back of the park and parking away from the area where you can walk in."
The food vendors, wristbands for Kid's Land, and professional face-painting are among the items that will cost a few dollars. The event goes until 4 p.m.
Also, at Fall Fest this year, there will be a "pie wars" contest to raise money for student scholarships and the remodeling of the Bryant Chamber of Commerce.
"Through the combined efforts of our local building and grounds committee and the school, we are able to do this," Fields said. "Basically, you can vote for a pie to be thrown at one of eight people in the city for $1. All kinds of people are going to be there including Fire Chief Randy Cox and Police Chief Tony Coffman."
The top two vote-getters and the bottom vote getter will be “pied” — hit with pies — at Fall Fest. The eight “candidates” are: Barbara Riggin of Iberia Bank, Dianne Jester of Bank of the Ozarks, Bryant Mayor Larry Mitchell, Cox, Coffman, Bryant High School principal Jay Pickering, Bryant Boys and Girls Club president Suzanne Passmore and Dr. Adam Carson.
The vote standings for "pie wars" as of Sept. 22 are: Jester with 139, Passmore with 21, Mitchell with 14, Carson 13, Coffman 12, Pickering 9, Riggin 7 and Cox 5. Voting will stop on Friday afternoon and pick back up on Saturday at Fall Fest.
"Don't try going down Reynolds Road between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, because you will encounter the Fall Fest parade," Fields said. "You can view the parade from Sullivan south to Mills Park Road. Don't set up between Prickett and Sullivan as we used to do or you will miss it."
The parade will begin at the Bryant Stadium parking lot and move up Sullivan south onto Reynolds Road to Mills Park Road.
"We'd really hate for folks to be sitting in their lawn chairs further north on Reynolds and hear the parade, but not see it," Fields reiterated. "It's going to be on a different section of Reynolds Road this year.”