Festival kicks off fall in Meeker

Mountain Valley Bank, White River Electric Association are sponsors
MEEKER — Fall, officially, began on Monday.
And with the arrival of autumn comes the annual Mountain Valley Bank Fall Festival, co-sponsored by White River Electric Association.
This will be the fifth year for the day-long event, held the last Saturday of September.
“I definitely have put an order in to the powers-that-be for a beautiful sunny day with no wind,” said Tawny Halandras, Mountain Valley Bank vice president and event organizer. “The event is coming together.”
Saturday’s event is intended to provide a day of fun activities for the family, plus benefit non-profit groups and community organizations trying to raise money for a good cause.
Family activities will include a ring toss, mini golf, bowling ladder golf and football as well as carnival games.
Also, participants in what is called the Fall Festival Challenge will compete for a grand prize — a Wii console and game package. How does it work? The top five accumulated scorers in five events advance to the Final Toy Assembly Contest. The grand prize goes to the best toy assembler.
Each non-profit group or individual sets up a booth at the event, which takes place on Main Street in downtown Meeker, in front of the bank. In 2005, there were 26 booths at Fall Festival, which is the most ever, so far. Last year, there were 17 booths.
“Every dollar that is spent at the Fall Festival benefits a not-for-profit group,” Halandras said.
Sponsors give each person attending the event $5 in Mountain Valley Bank Bucks to spend at the festival. People can bring a non-perishable food item for the Meeker Food Bank and receive an additional $2 in MVB Bucks.
As part of the festival, there will be the third annual Scrub Shirt Classic 5K run and one-mile walk, sponsored by Pioneers Medical Center. This will also be the first year for “Celebrate a Smart Lifestyle,” which includes the “Healthy Snack Shack” and a flu shot clinic. And the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District will put on a skate park safety seminar at the Fay Action Park, just west of the bank. Helmets will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.
As part of the festivities Saturday, Meeker Public Library will have a grand opening for its new location at 490 Main St., and there will be a salsa contest and a pie contest.
Halandras said the Fall Festival is all about giving back to the community.
“It creates a win-win for everyone involved,” she said.