Saturday, October 20th, the Fall Fun Festival was celebrated at the Alta Vista Gardens. Families spilled into the botanical gardens to enjoy the festivities of this tenth annual event.
An estimated 600 attendees visited this event which was split into two different sections. The first being the main entrance of the gardens, which was occupied by a row of vendors who sold everything from jewelry to hot dogs, each offering something unique. The second section was the children’s garden, where the majority of the activities took place: bobbing for apples, garland making, worm searches, face painting, origami, and pumpkin decorating. Live dancing and music harmonized the two.
One of the more outstanding parts of the event was the scarecrow contest. The $20.00 donation fee allowed participants to construct a scarecrow. The scarecrow building materials were all purchased at local businesses. This year’s first place winner was the “North County Daily Star.com Scarecrow”, created by TJ Crossman and Girl Scout Troop 1387. Second place was “Fancy Nancy”, created by Taylynn, Jameson, and Renee Salas. The third place winner was “The Joker”, created by Rusti, Eric, Carson and Addison Dixon.
Nancy Jones, also known as Farmer Jones, has been organizing this event from its inception and is proud of what it has become.
“It amazes me when I see this many people out in a garden, having fun”, she says, “it’s family time, and most everybody puts their phones away. Yes they’re taking pictures, but they’re focusing on each other: face to face”.
Farmer Jones begins the preparations for this event months in advance. As early as August, she begins collecting sponsorships from local businesses that would like to have scarecrows made to serve as advertisements that will stand in the gardens year round.
The vendors themselves love the opportunity to gather for this event, especially since most of them are Vista residents. Chocolatier and vendor Johna Nilson explains, “I’m mostly here because I’m a Vista person and I’m proud of living here, so I’m here to support Vista and it’s community… I get to meet other vendors and other Vista residents, so it’s just a fun community event”.