We planned to hit a pumpkin patch last weekend, but decided at the last minute to join friends at the fall festival in Pineville, a town just south of Charlotte. After driving past the historic storefronts on Main Street, we parked at a church designated for festival goers. Two friendly women pulled up on a golf cart seconds later and offered us a ride to the event site at Lake Park.
We spotted the Ferris Wheel and other rides as we neared the park, along with a patriotic display on top of a fire truck ladder.
As we followed our daughter toward the playground, we could see the lumberjack competition ramp up in the background. After reading about the contest in a Charlotte Observer article about the festival, I hoped to see how wood cutting would serve as entertainment. An emcee hosted the contest between two lumberjacks, as the men raced to saw wood and hurled axes at a wooden target.
On the way to meet our friends, we passed food trucks offering carnival fare, including items with a Southern twist such as barbeque, homemade soda, and of course, a Krispy Kreme burger.
I probably last attended a carnival in high school, so loved remembering the childhood excitement for face painting, merry go rounds and cotton candy.
After watching our kids ride on Thomas the Train and the spinning strawberries, we headed over to the stage where Bad Romeo played some of our favorite 80’s hair band hits. The band members maneuvered in between bales of hay to work the crowd, one player whipping his impressive Rapunzel-like locks . As the waning light brought a chill to the air, the sun set in a blaze of pink, orange and purple.
In 10 years of living in Charlotte, I’d never heard of the annual fall event in Pineville, but we vowed to make it a tradition. We definitely enjoy the kind of family fun that involves rides, funnel cakes and an 80’s hair band.