2009 Bridgeport Fall Festival
Herb Lindberg
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Part 1 of 4

Fall Festival is an exciting day of fun and learning for the whole family. Children painted more than one hundred pumpkins and took them home with them.  As many children also had their faces painted with Halloween pictures.  Music filled the air from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as Bite the Bullet played on a stage area  next to the Historic Barn, and Rick Toles (Alkali) and Emily Roberts Brockway each wandered the Bridgeport area playing their violins.

Mountain Man (and Woman) campers told stories and answered questions from their several tents set up the night before in the grassy area next to the Visitor Center.  They also explained the workings of and demonstrated their muzzle loading long rifles, which were used in their hunting and trapping livelihood.  This year several long bows were also on display, and children shot at a target with one of the smaller bows.  Meanwhile, others in the Mountain Man group took children and adults on wagon rides along the Virginia Turnpike, but weren't allowed to cross the covered bridge as in previous years. (The state has been slow in their safety inspection and certification of the bridge. We hope certification is completed in time for Spring Festival in April.)

Food booths were bustling with as many as 800 visitors, serving hot dogs, chili, ice cream and other delights for the tummy.

All the normal park activities were also in full swing.  Docents greeted visitors at the information table, answered questions about gold-rush era wagons in the barn, told the history and features of the covered bridge, demonstrated blacksmith techniques, and helped children of all ages pan for gold and bottle their treasure to take home with them.

This pictorial story of the event is divided into four pages, simply in the chronological order in which they were taken:

     Page 1 Bite the Bullet music group, blacksmith, Halloween cut-out making, paper flower making, yarn spinning, wagon rides, Alkali and friend on violins, (this page)
     Page 2 Greeter station, rifleman and children, pumpkin painting, long rifle demonstration, food tents: hot dogs etc.
     Page 3 Music listeners, Bridgeport Bingo, face painting, bean-bag toss, animals of the forest booth, ring toss on pumpkin stems.
     Page 4 Wagon ride, Mountain Man activities, painted pumpkins, shooting arrows, gold panning, painted faces, viewing corridor in historic barn.

Even before the 11 a.m. official start of the event "Bite the Bullet" was entertaining visitors.

They played their top-notch music for hours, as the main music group at the festival.

Hay bales and chairs allowed visitors to sit close up, or relaxed in a shaded grass area.

Nearby, volunteer Dennis Monax fires up for blacksmithing.

These children are busy making Halloween bats.

This one is nearing completion.

The craft table where they worked was one of two set up near the old Kneebone gas station.

Colorful flowers were made at the second table.

Docents answered questions and told of upcoming conservation of the gas station nearby.

Yarn spinning

Horse-drawn wagon rides

Rick Toles (Alkali) plays a duet with Emily Roberts Brockway.

I couldn't resist a closer shot of beautiful Emily while they played.

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