EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– October 5 would have been the first day of the West Side Nut Club’s Fall Festival, had it not been canceled. This is nearly a decade long tradition put on pause due to the pandemic.
Churches and non-profits across the Tri-State rely on the money they make from the Fall Festival.
“Our food pantry is funded by this. We need about $25,000 to fund our food pantry for the year so we didn’t know where the money was coming from,” said Pastor David Whitmore from Catalyst Church.
To continue serving the community during these uncertain times, Catalyst Church and other organizations found a way to set up their food booths while allowing for social distancing and staying in compliance with other health guidelines.
“If people need money, we are going to find a way to raise money,” said Outboard Boating President Scott Schenk. He said some people have already driven about an hour just to get their yearly pulled pork parfait treat. “We’ve already gone through probably about 60 pounds of pork already.”
Resurrection’s booth is also bringing in a large crowd. Staff and volunteers didn’t think this many people would order food on the first day.
“We’ve never had this kind of response for our food,” said Brandy Collins, Resurrection parish office worker.
By noon on Monday, their booth had sold more food at the church than it normally does in one day on West Franklin Street. This just goes to show even though booth locations are scattered, people are still making their rounds.
“I gotta get some of my favorites early in the week and I always look forward to their chicken and dumplings,” said Madeline DeWeese. She didn’t expect to see a drive through line as long as Resurrection’s, but said their chicken and dumplings are worth the five minute wait. “It’s good to see so many people come out in this way and still supporting everyone because everyone I know needs it more this year than ever.”
Even though there is no Fall Festival on Franklin Street, two long time friends brought their own party. They hung out exactly where they do every year at this time.
“Just to keep the tradition alive,” said David Hazelip.
Most of the booths open are serving food until 7:00 pm. You can find a list with times and locations here. Fall Festival favorites will be served around town all week.