The Greater Berlin Business and Professional Association (GBBPA)’s annual fall festival that brings in thousands of attendees annually will return for its 10th year on Saturday, Oct. 9, with a rain date of Sunday, Oct. 10.
Despite it being the 10th year, the association has no plans to do anything special or different for the free event.
“When Kevin (Lyons, GBBPA Fall Fest co-chair) and I started sending out publicity in April, I had no idea what kind of response we were going to get, and with the pandemic having taken place and a lot of the businesses being hit so hard, we really didn’t want to do anything with regards to celebrating our 10th,” said Betty Velie, association president and event organizer. “We’re just glad we’ve received the response that we have with the number of vendors and crafters that want to be there, and the different food trucks that are going to be there as well. I am actually amazed at the number of responses we’ve been getting.”
Velie said this would have been the festival’s 11th year had it not been cancelled in 2020.
“Last year, the business association made a decision in June that we were not going to take the risk, and I’m glad we did, because by October, things were really getting shut down,” Velie explained. She also reported that for the first year ever, the festival has two event sponsors, the highest tier of sponsorship available.
“Typically we’ve had one, but this year we have two, and that’s just wonderful, because so many businesses have been struggling,” Velie added.
Due to COVID, the association was unable to have the usual meet-and-greets that raise funds for events like the festival.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the day of the event, a large number of festivities will take place between Berlin Park and West Broad Avenue in Berlin. Activities and games for kids will take place in the park area.
Several COVID measures have been taken, including not having inflatable houses that kids can bounce in. Face painters will paint only on guests’ hands and arms, and will be handing out stickers if no contact is preferable. There will also be games like Jenga and Connect Four, a balloon artist and pumpkin painting.
Live entertainment will be provided by the Suitcase Murphy Band and an acoustic singer, and Tony Romeo, host of the TV show “PHL17 Weekend Philler,” will emcee.
At about 11:30 a.m., the Mutt Strut will start, giving dog owners the chance to enter their costumed pets into a costume contest and win prizes. Throughout the day, there will also be gift baskets and other prizes raffled from various organizations like the Friends of the Marie Fleche Library and the Berlin Rotary Club among others.
The festival will also include a variety of local food trucks, vendors, crafters, a beer and alcohol garden for adults over 21 and a car show.
For more information, visit https://greaterberlinbusiness.org/events/2019-gbbpa-fall-festival/.