Usually when you hear the words Fall Family Festival and you are single, you probably think you should just pass it by, but if you missed out on the Fall Fest at the Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens Saturday, you missed a lot of fun and a lot of really good deals with so many great events for adults and kids that many attendees were worn out by the end of the day!
There were plenty of baby strollers, pregnant women, crying children and adults from late teens into the 80s.
Most of the younger children were congregated over by the children’s games and events, which was nice because the older children and adults had the main shopping, food, contests and informational booths available making it more enjoyable for everyone.
Vendors ranged from those selling organic produce, honey, homemade soap, daylily bulbs, tea plants and banana trees to space alien balloons, jewelry and crafts.
The plant tables seemed to bring in a lot of attention and money, but the poor jewelry sellers looked despondent and everyone kept passing them by.
This was after all, an experimental garden area and most of the people there came to see the plants, eat the food and pick pumpkins from the pumpkin patch (which was really just pre-picked pumpkins set out on the black plastic where the strawberry plants used to be, but the kids did not seem to know the difference!).
There was cane grinding and syrup making and plenty an “old timer” to show kids and parents how to peal back the outer layer of the sugar cane and chew on the sweet pulp beneath.
Pony rides, hay rides pulled by tractor, a fun “train” ride consisting of a lawn mower and connected barrels cut in two circled the kids play area at dizzying speeds as parents leaned and sat on anything available and rubbed tired feet as they held onto to balloons, scarecrow dolls, sugar cane and soft drinks.
A few came out to see or participate in the Rose show at the Bethel-Burton house and none could resist the temptation to bend down and inhale over the perfect rose of their choice.
A museum with bamboo furniture, toys, parasols and eating utensils, bowls and artwork welcomed elder visitors, though most of the younger crowd preferred the bounce houses and checking out the interiors of the fire truck and Mosquito Control helicopter.
There was a scarecrow building table and contest and both children and adults had fun painting faces on black plastic landscaping buckets, stuffing old clothes with pine straw and setting up their masterpieces for all to enjoy.
Long lines stood outside the bright yellow Mosquito Control helicopter and the Fire truck and everyone was fascinated with the organic produce stand which offered free honey comb and pecan samples and sold seeds and organic plants while educating others on how to plant organically and grow their own food.
It could not have been a better day for a Fall Festival with many flowers in bloom and an interesting assortment of plant experiments from water plants to yes, you got it… bamboo of all different varieties from huge and thick to thin and wispy.
In route out, guests were treated to the closest thing to Fall Color leaves reflected on the green water pond and a future blueberry patch and plans to extend to Farms further back on the property.
Some of the vendors had sales on gift items like handmade soap which went as low as $1 a bar for blueberry, strawberry and bay rum scents, that would normally sell for $4 or $5 a bar.
There was a lot of walking and a lot to do and something there to make everyone happy, including funnel cakes, hot dogs and Boston butts.
To learn more about the Gardens or to rent the facilities you can visit their website at: http://bamboo.caes.uga.edu/MasterPlan.html