Frankfort Fall Festival ready to be a crowd 'thriller'

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Fall ritual: The public will have a chance to visit the booths of about 300 artisans during the 2013 Frankfort Fall Festival, due to take place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 in downtown Frankfort. | File photo

If you go ...

What: Frankfort Fall Festival

Where: Downtown Frankfort

When: Artisans will be showing 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 31 - Sept. 1, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 2; entertainment on two stages from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2; carnival runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2.

More information: http://frankfortfallfestival.info/

This year’s Frankfort Fall Festival ought to be quite a thriller. Officially, the 2013 fest is themed as Fall Fright Festival — It’s a Thriller. Unofficially, the mix of more than 300 artisans displaying their wares for three days, two stages of entertainment performing over four days, carnival rides, a slew of food vendors, a parade and a host of businesses to patronize, should all come together to make this year’s festival an exciting place to be.

Some 300,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s festival that runs Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.

The festival will be doing its thing in the usual spot, along the streets of downtown Frankfort, extending from Nebraska Street on the south to Elwood Street on the north, and from White Street on the east to approximately Hickory street on the west.

Tweaks and changes are made every year, some barely noticeable and others big enough that everyone will take notice. One fairly noticeable change to this year’s festival is the installation of a pedestrian safety zone.

Designed to separate pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic, the pedestrian safety zone will be created by closing White Street for a little more than a block between Elwood and Nebraska streets. Police, fire and ESDA personnel will be available to enforce the safety zone.

Colleen Mora, this year’s festival chairman, said the idea came about through meetings with the committee members.

“We’re always looking to improve the festival, and safety is our main priority,” she said. “Closing White Street to car traffic will allow pedestrians to cross the street safely to get to the festival without the worry about vehicles.”

Mora said the idea to install the pedestrian safety zones was to be proactive rather than reactive. “We hope this is an improvement that our guests will like.”

Mora said another change in this year’s festival is that all of the 14 food vendors will be grouped together in a food court.

Artisans galore

Mora, who has been involved with the chamber of commerce-sponsored event for the last 11 years, said this year’s Frankfort Fall Festival features around 300 artisans who will be hawking their various crafts.

Nearly 100 of those artisans will be new to the fall festival this year and 50 will be local crafters.

Guests will be treated to live music throughout the day as two bands will perform each day on Breidert Green and other live music will be featured throughout the day in the beer and entertainment tent area (BETA).

The festival continues to be recognized in the top 15 best festivals nationally by Sunshine Artist Magazine, earning that honor through year-round work involving 30 civic organizations, led by the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce.

Hundreds of volunteers work together in front and behind the scenes to insure a good time for all, as well as raise funds for many activities such as Concerts on the Green, Frankfort Police Cadets, D.A.R.E., Lincoln-Way Foundation, Fourth of July Fireworks, KidsWork Children’s Museum, Movies on the Green, Night Out Against Crime, Student Scholarships and Winter on the Green.

Mora said she is proud to be associated with the Fall Festival and with all the volunteers who give their time and talents in making sure the festival is such a huge success.

She is especially proud of two very special volunteers; her husband Ted, who is in charge of the electrical committee, and her daughter, Cassie, who helps in the office.