In Nov. 4 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
The Russell Springs Fall Festival brought hundreds of folks to Main St. Friday and Saturday as the highly anticipated two-day event proved to be a huge hit among all that attended, according to Fall Festival Director Aron Houdini, the president of the Russell Springs Downtown Revitalization Committee.
Mayor Hollis DeHart said he was really pleased with the event, particularly with the crowd.
"We had a massive group of people here Saturday night," the mayor said. "It seemed like everyone really enjoyed themselves."
DeHart said the city hosted so many events that even he hadn't heard who had won everything as of early this week.
"I want to commend everyone that worked on it, they just did a super job," he said. "The Downtown Revitalization Committee did a tremendous job with the festival."
The event kicked off Friday with DJ music, Karaoke, Zumba Dancing and a concert made up of musicians from around the county.
A large crowd also gathered outside the Russell Springs Haunted House with what some visitors called "the scariest haunted house we've ever been to."
Comedian/actor Bill Byrge appeared at city hall both nights, saying he was very excited about being in Russell Springs.
"I've enjoyed myself," Byrge said. "Everyone has been so nice and I have had such a great time."
Saturday began with a barbecue cook-off and three professional entrants sat up on Main Street for a cooking competition sponsored by Premier Integrity Solutions.
The car show then kicked off later that morning.
"The car show was a big hit," Houdini said. "I think the General Lee and Roscoe's police car were some of the biggest hits at the festival. Hundreds of people came to the festival to see them."
On Saturday afternoon children competed in the Hillbilly Olympics and various other games while the Russell Springs Library was voted champion of the city's window decorating contest.
"We want to think all the businesses on Main Street for decorating their windows and helping us make Main Street look nice for the Halloween weekend," Houdini said
David Fultz, star of the new comedy My Bloody Wedding, said "the people of Russell Springs have been so nice. It has been a real blast being here."
Nearly 2,000 people gathered for Aron Houdini's "Burned Alive" taping for a national television show on Saturday night.
"This was a great success," said Al Lagarde, the producer for Houdini's show who has produced shows for Discovery, TLC and Spike TV. "Aron's talent has put him in the national spotlight and his ability to entertain people puts him right at the top."
After Houdini's successful performance, thousands of people hit up Main Street for an evening of Trunk or Treat, an ever popular and continually growing Halloween event.
Later that evening Blair Carmen and his band took the stage while the award-winning Russell Springs Haunted House had their busiest night of the year with more than 100 people making the trek through.
"The Haunted House had well over a thousand visitors this season," Houdini said. "I want to thank all the volunteers who helped me make this possible. We had over 2,000 volunteer hours this year with the haunted house."
Houdini said he also wanted to thank all the people who helped with the festival and it's planning.
"I think the revitalization committee can call it a big success," he said.
Sponsors for this year's fall festival included Premier Integrity Solutions, Monticello Banking Company, First National Bank, Duo County Telecom, WHVE the Wave, The Russell Register, Wilson's Funeral Home, Ace Hardware and Advanced Technical Marketing with VIP sponsors being the Times Journal and 104.9 FM WJRS, according to Houdini.
Up next for the committee and the city is the annual Russell Springs Christmas Parade, scheduled for Nov. 27 on Main St.
"It's a big undertaking," DeHart said. "We're going to have a big tree this time."
With just a few short weeks until the parade, the city's volunteers and committee members have yet another large task to prepare for.