Autumnfest Returns to Anthem

Writer Shannon Severson

Photography Courtesy of Anthem Community Council

In the North Valley, signs of autumn may not include brightly colored foliage and piles of falling leaves, but the promise of cooler days is heralded by a much-anticipated community event: Autumnfest. 

This year, Autumnfest weekend will be Oct. 19 and 20, coinciding with the community of Anthem’s 20th anniversary year. The carnival portion will open on the evening of Thurs., Oct. 17 and run throughout the weekend at various times.

The free, all-ages event is open to the public and runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Arts and crafts vendors from around the Valley will set up shop at Anthem Community Park to offer art, jewelry, handmade goods, tasty culinary offerings, photography, candles and a variety of other items for sale to the public.

“This is the perfect opportunity with the holidays coming up to purchase gifts, décor, tasty treats and other fall-inspired delicacies while enjoying Anthem’s beautiful community park and all that it has to offer,” says Michele DeMichele, director of special events for the Anthem Community Council (ACC).

For the young and young-at-heart, there is plenty on offer. Thursday night, Oct. 17, thrill-seekers will enjoy the carnival rides and games set up by Frazier Shows Carnival, including a Ferris wheel, swings, carousel and other fun rides. While rides and games vary in price, all-you-can-ride wristbands will be available during select times. Hours will be posted online.

For the little ones, free tractor-pulled hayrides through the community park and bounce houses/inflatables (fees apply) will be favorites. Daisy Mountain Railroad will also be “on-track” for fun.

At the food court and Rotary beer garden, food, beer and wine will be available for purchase. Live entertainment will be provided throughout the weekend at the main pavilion from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Strolling musicians and balloon artists (free) will entertain attendees all across the property Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A visit from Smokey Bear is part of Saturday’s Firewise Days, in partnership with Daisy Mountain Fire Department. Community safety information and the chance to see a fire truck up close are part of this special engagement.

Back by popular demand is the decorated pumpkin contest. Families, churches, schools, businesses and non-profits enter to show off their best decorating skills, vying to win a grand prize 20th-anniversary swag basket and $50 Visa gift card in each category. 

“We had an amazing turnout of pumpkins last fall, showcasing so much creativity in our community,” says Kristi Northcutt, ACC’s director of public affairs. “We encourage last year’s participants to return, and we hope that lots of new folks will join the fun in celebration of our community’s 20th anniversary.”

The public will vote for their favorites and every entry will receive a commemorative 20th-anniversary t-shirt. The top three vote-getters in each category will receive prize ribbons. Entry paperwork is due by Oct. 11 at 5 p.m., and additional guidelines are posted online.

Let the autumn fun begin!

Anthem Autumnfest

Oct. 19–20 | Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.  | Carnival Dates and Times TBD

Anthem Community Park | 41730 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy., Anthem | Free | 623-742-6050 |

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