The Autumn equinox isn’t until Sept. 22, but the season change as already happened. To celebrate everything pumpkins, spice and falling leaves families are invited to enjoy prizes, games and fun at the Fall Festival.
This is the second year the Covington Chamber has held Fall Festival. It started in 2018 when the chamber came together and realized all of their event efforts were mainly for its members or to attract business.
“(The first year) was amazing,” Covington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Liggett said. “We realized as a chamber that we hadn’t done a community event. We’ve done member events or auctions. But we hadn’t done a community event put on by the business community here in Covington. So that’s where the start of it from.”
Fall Festival, Liggett said, is a celebration of the changing seasons, the start of school and to recognize students who participated in Play Unplugged.
Play Unplugged is a yearly “challenge” the chamber creates for younger kids to encourage them to go outside and try something new. Families obtain badge lanyards from city hall or the library, then they collect up to 26 badges from businesses around Covington. These badges are earned by participating in different activities, crafts or contests. Students who earned all 26 badges this year received a three-month pass to the Covington Aquatic Center.
In 2018, 613 children participated in the event and 144 of them earned all the badges. This year 1,189 kids participated and 277 of them earned all 26 badges and a swim pass. All students, whether they completed all the badges or not, will be recognized at Fall Fest and can will receive an award at the City of Covington booth.
“We’ll do a recognition at noon during Fall Fest,” Liggett said.
Fall Festival is focused on playing together as a community and overall excitement. Each vendor at the event is required to have a game for families to enjoy such as ring toss or a spin-the-wheel. Each vendor will also have prizes to give away. Jersey Mike’s is donating subs and Chick-Fil-A is donating cookies and lemonade, which is free for event goers.
“We will also have demos,” Liggett said. “There will be a John Deere Truck, a fire truck and a police car. We will also have a princess, a youth circus is coming and Rainier Youth Choir will come through.”
There will also be a children’s train and a bounce castle. The chamber will host five drawings for free children’s bikes or a gift basket. The event is being hosted by Real Life Church, which is a member of the chamber.
Last year, despite the drizzle, 800 people showed up to Fall Fest.
“It was just a blast,” Liggett said. “A lot of the members and vendors said it was a great end to the vendor season. It was a party, definitely a party.”
Imminent rainy weather aside, Liggett said the show will go on. If the weather is too harsh, everything will be moved inside the church except for the bouncy house and children’s train.
For Liggett and other chamber board members, its crucial to the chamber’s mission statement to host more community focused events.
“We recently updated our mission statement, we took out the word business,” Liggett said. “It now reads ‘The Covington Chamber of Commerce is committed to actively promoting a strong, local community.’ We really believe, strongly, that without our community we don’t have our businesses, and without our businesses we don’t have our community. So we just wanted to showcase that.”
Want to join the fun?
The second annual Fall Festival is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Real Life Church, 26201 180th Ave. SE in Covington. Admission is free for everyone and will include free food, activities and more. The festival may be moved inside the church if there is inclement weather.