West Side Nut Club Fall Festival starts setting up for return

Fall Festival

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) Some familiar sights are returning along West Franklin Street as the Fall Festival makes its return after last year’s cancellation.

Carnival rides started going up today, as the set up begins for one of the Tri-State’s biggest events.

All day workers put together the Ferris wheel and other rides on the grounds of EVPL West library. This happens days before the booths go up Sunday morning. This is one of the first visual signs the festival is coming back after the pandemic forced its cancellation last year.

As the festival carnival rides started going up along West Franklin, some people’s excitement of the festival’s return after last year’s cancellation increased.

“I’m so excited it’s back this year. I’m looking forward to it,” said Mark Maxwell of Evansville.

“We just miss being down here,” adds Todd Helfert of the West Side Nut Club.

This year’s edition marks 100 years for the Fall Festival and also for the West Side Nut Club. While 26 organizations decided not to have booths this year, more than 110 will still line West Franklin. Helfert says most of the layout will be the same, but the drive thru ticket booth for the half pot used last year, won’t be back. The parking lot it was at will return to the club’s men’s club for their fundraiser.

“The fact that that parking lot was previously used and will be used again the way it has been used in the past, so our purpose is we have a festival with a half pot, the festival is what we want people to come down for,” he explained.

Helfert says 500 gallons of hand sanitizer were donated by Lowe’s, Target and Brenntag and will be up along the street. The festival’s return also means a return of attention to businesses along the street, whether they’re open or closed next week.

“I think it will be kind of nice to have people back out on the street and getting the changes to see that happened on Franklin Street because we’re not the only ones that made changes to our businesses,” says Brittany Cagle, owner of Franklin Street Boutique.

Helfert adds people can still wear masks if they want to while at the festival and still think physical distancing is a good idea while on West Franklin. The festival officially starts next Monday.

(This story was originally published on September 30, 2021)

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