(Posted Oct. 12, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
In October 2020, the village of Plain City held a costume contest at Pastime Park that attracted about 300 people. In 2021, they added a bunch of activities and attractions and turned the event into a fall festival. In 2022, the attendance climbed to 2,000, and organizers are expecting an even bigger turnout this year.
“Seeing the event grow over the last couple of years has been incredible,” said Denton Kitts, Plain City parks and recreation assistant. “It went from being a costume contest to being a behemoth of an event. We’ve gotten really good feedback, and we’re lucky with the community participation and support we receive.”
The 2023 Plain City Fall Festival is set for Oct. 21, 4-7 p.m., at Pastime Park, 370 N. Chillicothe St. Admission is free. Costumes are encouraged.
The festivities include a costume contest open to children in several age categories and adults. Gus “Squashcarver” Smithhisler returns to create another masterpiece by carving a giant pumpkin over the course of the evening.
Local businesses and organizations will man tents and tables in Trick Or Treat Alley. Children are invited to go from booth to booth to collect candy and other goodies. Kitts said the village has set up a larger space for Trick Or Treat Alley this year, with approximately 40 organizations participating, up from 25 last year. The same expansion of space and numbers is in place for the craft vendors.
The Miami Valley Steam Threshers are hosting hayrides. The Union County wildlife officer from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will show visitors how to shoot a bow and arrow at the archery trailer. ODNR also will have a display table of animal pelts and wildlife information.
Four bounce houses, facepainting, craft stations, and a kiddie train ride are planned. Anyone over 13 years old is invited to try axe throwing; a signed waiver is required. COSI Curbside will conduct live science experiments. A photo booth complete with hay bales and an autumn backdrop also will be available.
Several food trucks will be on hand, including Biscuit Boss, Guelaguetza, Donato’s Pizza, Greek Village on the Go, Buckeye Crepes, Rocky Mountain Coffee Co., and Whit’s Frozen Custard.
Parking will be available near the baseball fields and aquatic center at the park’s south entrance. The park’s north entrance will be closed. Additionally, a dedicated parking area will be available in an open field off of Route 42 and Chillicothe Street; enter via Route 42.
The village welcomes volunteers to monitor bounce houses, get vendors into place, assist with the costume contest, and run other activities. For details about volunteering or any other part of the festival, contact Denton Kitts at (614) 873-3527, ext. 108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.