What does it take to put on the annual Fall Festival?


The 98th annual West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is well underway.

And the great weather has brought a lot of people to West Franklin Street.

The annual Lighthouse Parade is underway right now and after that it’s Amateur Hour from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. And rides are open until 10:00 p.m.

Eyewitness News’ Kelly Austin talks to the second co-chairman of the festival, Mike Hahn, about what it takes to pull off an event of this magnitude.


Kelly Austin: We’re continuing our coverage of the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. It is a beautiful night and it kind of has a little chill in the air, feeling like fall for sure. I’m here with Mike Hahn and he’s the second co-chairman of the festival. Now, welcome, I’m so glad you’re with me tonight. I can’t imagine what goes into getting this setup and running. Where do you all start?

Mike Hahn: We actually start when this festival is over. We do a lot of our maintenance work, or repair work, our trailers, our parade floats, we do stuff like that all winter long. So, we’re hit with that much work at the beginning. As far as the work down here on the street, we start probably two months ago, with what I call our electric grid system. And our grid system is where all these booths get their power from, which takes quite a bit of power – all these deep fryers and everything – and the electric, they take about 2 months to get their stuff up. And then we just have guys doing barricade work. We have probably 400 barricades we use throughout the year for the festival and those things don’t just set themselves up. It takes a tremendous amount of manpower to set those things up. Plus, we’re blessed to have so many great committees. You know, it’s not just the same 10 guys who have to do everything. We have the physical committee, which handles the barricades and the nightly clean ups, our public facilities committee – they set all the bathrooms the week before – we’re blessed to have that because we spread it out through the whole club.

Kelly Austin: So, from start of setup to start of the festival, how many weeks or months? I guess you said right after this is over you start. So, it takes about a year to plan.

Mike Hahn: It’s a never-ending process.

Kelly Austin: So, real quick, what’s going on here tonight, actually in just a few minutes?

Mike Hahn: We have the lighthouse parade going on tonight. Come down, check it out!

Kelly Austin: Thank you Mike! Mike Hahn, the second co-chair of the fall festival, live in Evansville, I’m Kelly Austin, let’s go to Randall.

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(This story was originally published on October 7, 2019)

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