Hundreds of Forsyth County area residents took the opportunity to enjoy a long-standing autumn tradition Saturday.
Both the North Forsyth United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit held fall festivals.
From food and face painting to petting zoos and live music, the autumn traditions offered much family-friendly fun.
“I think people really like fall festivals because it’s cooler outside now and the whole family can participate,” said Tracey Small, an organizer of the North Forsyth UMC festival.
This was just the second year for that event, but Small said there was still a good crowd.
“We’re at a really good location right here on Ga. 400,” she said. “We have a lot of people stopping in and taking a look.”
Kathy Allemand brought daughters Kennedy, 9, and Karson, 5, to the festival.
“It’s nice and small, not too chaotic like some of these things,” Allemand said. “There are a lot of nice people and it’s a good time of year to get out and play games and eat good food.”
Some of that food included hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled fresh for visitors.
“And of course you can’t have a fall festival without funnel cakes and nachos,” said Small’s husband, Jim, as he stirred a batch of homemade cheese sauce.
Down on Pilgrim Mill Road, at the Episcopal Church’s Red Door Festival, the fare included three whole roasted pigs.
“The pig roast is a big tradition. We’ve been doing that for about 15 years,” said Rector Keith Oglesby.
Randy Edwards and daughter Meredith, 10, enjoyed the home-cooked barbecue while sitting on one of the church’s hills overlooking the festivities.
“This festival is one of our favorites,” the older Edwards said. “It’s great barbecue and we like helping out good causes.”
Sarah Roosa-Collins echoed those sentiments.
“We like to support our church,” she said as her 3-year-old son grabbed toy ducks in a plastic children’s pool. “We have a nice community here. Everybody knows each other.”
Meredith Edwards said she most enjoyed the festival’s petting zoo and inflatables for kids.
“The potbellied pig was cute and the bouncy things are a lot of fun,” she said.
The favorite for Sean Wharton, 3, seemed to be the Red Door Festival’s cotton candy.
“That’s his first time having [it],” said his mother, Kim Wharton, as his face became covered in pink stickiness.
She said the family enjoys fall festivals because they’re a good value.
“We go to every one we can,” she said. “Having a 3-and-a-half year-old, when you’re a stay-at-home mom and with just one income, you hit all the good bargains. Like here, there’s free parking and free admission.
“And of course for a 3-year-old, bouncy things are the bomb.”