Festival wraps up summer with community fun

MEEKER I The colors are changing, showing the beautiful transition of seasons, and this means it is time for the Mountain Valley Bank Fall Festival in Meeker. The ninth annual event will take place Saturday, Sept. 29 on Main Street in front of Mountain Valley Bank, in the old elementary school yard and in the parking lot west of the bank.
“This is a festival for the community,” said event coordinator Tawny Halandras. Her hard work and dedication to providing this remarkable day and raising money for non-profit organizations has generated a net profit of approximately $60,000 over the past eight years. Last year alone, an estimated 900 people attended and nearly $13,000 was raised after expenses. Co-sponsors of the event are White River Electric, and Enterprise Products LLP, together with Mountain Valley Bank and Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan District.
Every person that checks into the event is given $5 to be used at the festival, an additional $2 is given for non-perishable items and the “How Healthy is Meeker” booth run by the Pioneers Healthcare Foundation will give additional money for participating in a short health test. They are working to get a baseline for a grant they recently received.
Margie Joy has been working extremely hard to encourage health throughout our community. She is instrumental in continuing the Scrub Shirt 5K run/walk along with the one mile fun walk sponsored by Pioneers Medical Center again this year. She is working with local physical education teacher Vicky Tate to get as many kids involved as possible. The fifth and sixth graders are having a contest to see which class has the most participation, with the winners receiving varying reward, the largest being playground equipment.
Trina Zagar-Brown will once again sponsor the annual pie and salsa contest and auction, with proceeds going to Meals on Wheels. There will be cash prizes for the best, the hottest and the most unique salsa, as well as for the prettiest, the best fruit, the best Fall Festival pie and best overall pie.
This year the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan District has taken over the challenge that concludes the festival. Participants will compete in the events with the top winners qualifying for an obstacle course to determine the overall winner in each age group and division. Prizes in the form of Visa gift cards will be awarded.
The sponsors for this event look to help 18 non-profit organizations this year and more than 30 booths will be there to provide food and fun for participants. In previous years, the money spent by the sponsors was matched nearly one to one by families attending. The funds help sports teams, various school and church clubs as well as other community groups. This year an unexpected, very generous donation was made by an out-of-state hunter who loved our community and the hospitality he received. After talking with the event coordinator, he decided to leave a gift. His intent was simply to have the money utilized in the festival and enhance the youth in our area. The donation symbolizes what the event is all about: celebrating our community and gathering with our families for fun to support the great variety of groups we have in our small town. We look forward to celebrating this Saturday in the Mountain Valley Bank Fall Festival.