EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) The Fall Festival doesn’t just bring people in from across the Tri-State, but also from outside our region. It also brings some former west side residents, who return home to help out this week.
Many of the nut club members helping run the festival this week still live on the west side, or other parts of the Evansville area. But two members returned from Texas to the place they once called home.
They do everything from sell half pot tickets to take out the trash.
“This is something I wouldn’t miss,” says Kevin Gerteisen, who now lives in Carrollton, Texas, just outside Dallas. He and Jeff Alvey, who lives in Austin, returned this week to this can’t miss annual event as it marks major milestones.
“Living in Texas, you realize quick that nobody can replicate this club,” says Gerteisen. Gerteisen has lived in Carrollton for more than six years, and Alvey’s been in Austin for more than a year. Both have been long time nut club members and helped in the past, and presently help this week.
“There’s always something to keep you busy,” says Alvey.
“it’s amazing. Some things don’t change, which is kind of nice. You come back, see the same people, see the same booths, see the same people working the booths, setting up the booths. It’s refreshing to come back,” Gerteisen adds.
Both explained to co-workers and friends back in Texas about the festival and the West Side Nut Club’s mission. They say there’s still not much at their new homes that resembles what happens at the home they’re still emotionally attached to.
“I’ve been taking lots of pictures and videos and sending them to people that I work with, just so they can grasp how big it is,” says Alvey.
“Actually, my coworkers are like, ‘Man, I don’t get that’, so I’ll just send them to our website. That way they can read the history of the club, look back at what we do,” says Gerteisen.
While they’re sending video and photos to their Texan friends, a few are seeing it with their own eyes.
“I actually brought one with me,” says Alvey, referring to a friend who is visiting the festival this week. “First time she’s ever seen it.”
Alvey and Gerteisen aren’t the only ones currently living elsewhere who come back here this week. They say others who have retired and live elsewhere also make the trip back for the week.
(This story was originally published on October 8, 2021)