She’s not sure how it happened, but Kate Lewis said this year the St. Rose of Lima Fall Festival saw less attendance, but more smiles.
Lewis, who helps organize the fall festival said that visitors were down close to 5,000 from last year, but that there were a lot of contributing factors to those numbers.

“Part of the problem, I think was homecoming,” Lewis said. “We were down a little bit more this year despite the rides we brought in.”
But Lewis doesn’t see that as a bad thing.

This year, both Jay and Milton had their homecoming football games Friday night and their homecoming dances during the fall festival.

Lewis said that a lot more people came out on Sunday to the fall festival, and the jump in numbers on Sunday could have been due to the fact that homecoming week was over.

“Our entertainment guy was telling us we had 15,000 to 20,000 and that was early Sunday,” Lewis said. “So I think we had closer to 25,000 come out over the weekend.”

This year, Lewis said the church brought in more fun to attract people to the event. And for her fun equated to rides.

This year, the festival had more rides, and Lewis said the fair ride company wants to come back again next year.

“The number of people riding the rides I think was way up,” Lewis said. “But they told us they wanted to come back next year so long as their schedule doesn’t collide with anything else.”

But it wasn’t all fun and games for Lewis, who introduced a new addition to the festival this year.

That addition was a tent that had multiple flat screens playing football games on them for the few that chose sports over rides.

“That tent was definitely a good addition,” Lewis said. “In the past, we usually updated people with scores over the loudspeaker, but this way, people could get up to the minute scores.”

This year the festival also brought back the petting zoo, which was a hit among many, including children.

“A lot of the comments we were getting were very positive,” Lewis said. “We had more vendors, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”