STALLINGS – People in Stallings already have their sights set on mid-September, when the “annual” Stallings Fest returns on Sept. 15.
“It’s giving back to the citizens,” said Dena Sabinske, the director of parks and recreation for the town. “The majority of Stallings events are free or low cost. It’s just one of those ‘thank yous’ to the citizens.”
The festival, scheduled for Sept. 15 from noon to 7:30 p.m. at Stallings Municipal Park, is free and open to all. There will be food, games, rides and activities, and rides will be organized by age with the rides for young children at the entrance to the park and rides for adults in the back of the park.
“We try to keep it age appropriate,” Sabinske said of the annual event.
Astrojump, train rides, spinners, a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, a climbing wall and bungee jumping are just some of the rides and activities Stallings will provide to those who attend.
But there’s also going to be chances to show off your skills.
From 3 to 4 p.m. there will be a hula-hoop contest and a watermelon-eating contest. There also will be live music throughout the day and possibly a second stage with dance groups performing. The Porter Ridge Marching Band, Outta the Blue and Right Turn Clyde will all perform at the festival.
Mayor Lynda Paxton and other council members may make an appearance at Stallings Fest, but no solid commitments have been made.
There also will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new park at the beginning of Stallings Fest. Last year the town had to suspend its eight-year tradition because the park was under construction.
“The ribbon cutting is a coincidence because the park just happened to be finished,” Sabinske said.
Last time the town held Stallings Fest, in 2010, about 4,000 people came out. They are hoping for more this year.
Renovations of the park included the addition a new area with a shelter, a new fountain, more playing area, the redoing of the toddler playground, updates to two playgrounds at the park and additions to the 5- to 12-year-old playground.
“We are also doubling the size of the parking lot. They are paving it this week,” Sabinske said. “We are hopefully getting the park back by the end of August. We are diligently working. It’s a long process.”
Stallings Municipal Park is located at 340 Stallings Road. Find more information on the event at the town’s website, www.stallingsnc.org.