The Greater Bryant Chamber of Commerce has a full day of festivities planned for the 32nd annual Fall Fest — set Sept. 28 at Bishop Park.
"This will be the largest and biggest Fall Fest we have ever had," said Chamber President and CEO Jason Brown.
The presenting sponsors for Fall Fest are Everett Buick GMC and the Arkansas Heart Hospital.
Events will start with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Bryant Senior Wellness and Activity Center. It will run until 10:30 a.m. It is an all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee. The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children and free for those age 5 and younger. All proceeds from the breakfast benefit the senior center.
The Heritage Fishing Derby for those 18 and younger will be held from 7 to 9 a.m. in the back pond at Bishop Park. There is no cost to enter. Prizes will be given out to participants.
The Fall Fest 5K will kick off at 8 a.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Runners will travel from the park to Hurricane Creek Elementary School and back. The race is sponsored by Baxley-Penfield-Moudy Realtors, the Arkansas Heart Hospital, Heritage and Hamilton Family Dentistry.
Overall male and female winners will take home a Garmin GPS watch. Male and female runners-up will take home a pair of Hoka brand running shoes. Third-place finishers receive Oofos sandals.
Runners will get a T-shirt and goody bag. The cost to enter is $25. Runners can sign up in advance at www.arkansasrunner.com.
There will also be giveaways for the participants.
At 9 a.m., the cardboard boat race, sponsored by Hamilton Family Dentistry, will begin.
Boats must be made of corrugated cardboard or carpet tubing and duct tape. Crews can use paddles or oars, but no sales, motors, poles or ropes and it cannot be pushed. The full list of rules can be found on the Chamber website or picked up at the Chamber.
There will be four awards. The hydrofoil award will go to the boat that goes fastest and farthest. The nautical excellence award is for best engineering and design. The flagship award will go to the boat that has the best look or theme. The Titanic award will be for the boat with the most dramatic or entertaining sinking.
Brown said any children entering need to have someone in the boat with them. The Chamber does not want a child to get scared if the boat sinks.
The cost is $5 per team and multiple teams can use the same boat.
The Saline County Library is seeking four teams to sponsor in the race. There will be a build day for the teams at 10 a.m. Saturday, at Boswell Library. Each team, including two to four children and one adult, must register one member with the library. The library will provide supplies. Full rules will be available at www.salinecountylibrary.org under the calendar event.
Brown believes this year's Kids Land will be the biggest. Thanks to the city of Bryant, Kids Land will only cost $2 for all the activities, including inflatables, climbing wall, entertainment, face painting, balloon artists and a train.
The Kids Land sponsors are are Centennial Bank, First Electric Cooperative, Geyer Springs Baptist Church, Heritage and Dave & Buster's.
Brown said there will be entertainment on the main stage, sponsored by Darragh and Middleton Heat & Air, including dance, cheer, martial arts, music and other entertainment.
The Paw Parade will take over the stage at 10 a.m.
"It will be really stinking cute," Brown said.
Pets will show off costumes and jewelry. Brown said it is open to any pet as long as it is on a leash. Awards will go to first-, second- and third-place finishers.
The festival will have a variety of vendor booths from local businesses and arts and crafts. Brown expects more than 100 vendors.
The Chamber is still accepting vendors for the event. Each vendor gets a 10-foot-by-10-foot space. The cost is $100 for members and $125 for "future members."
There will also be nine food trucks. Brown said they will have Kona Ice, Frosty Tropics, Braggs Big Bites, Riverside Grocery and Catering, ARsmashers, Jimmy Jerks, Smith Family Barbecue and Catfish, the Arkansas Heart Hospital Food Truck and Chuckwagon.
For those who enjoy vehicles, the Salty Jeepers Jeep Club will be on display and Bryant Family Pharmacy will be sponsoring a car show. Car show entry forms can be found at Bryant Family Pharmacy or on the Chamber website.
The show will give awards for best in show and first, second and third place in each class, classic car, classic truck, classic SUV, modern, open class, and survivor or barn find. There is no cost to enter.
Near the stage, festivalgoers will be able to pay $2 a ball or three for $5 to dunk various special guests including Bryant Mayor Allen Scott and Alderman RJ Hawk.
At 11 a.m., the Fall Fest Parade will kickoff from Boswell Street in Bryant and travel to Boone Road and end up at Bishop Park. Brown said there is no cost to enter. Prizes will be given for first, second and third place.
Brown sees Fall Fest as another way the Chamber can add value to its members and give them a fun way to network and bring the community together. He encourages families to attend the festival.
He is grateful for all the sponsors who are helping the Chamber put on Fall Fest.
More information about Fall Fest and registrations for different events can be found at www.bryantchamber.com.
"Come out and enjoy the festivities," Brown said.