Morganton Road was crowded with vendors, local stores stayed open later than usual and the Greenback Depot was filled with music and dancing to commemorate the annual Greenback Fall Festival.
In September, city members celebrated a cruise-in and market, and Saturday’s festival adopted many of the previous festival alongside new add-ons, like performances from the local dance group Greenback Angels, carriage rides, bounce houses and square dancing.
“We like reasons to celebrate, so if you give us a reason, we’re going to celebrate,” Angie Valpatic, event organizer, said.
For many of Greenback’s evening festivities, local stores, such as The Home Decor Resale Store, stay open later to entice attendees.
Janet McKnight, store owner, sold hot spiced apple cider to customers while they perused shelves stocked with decorations.
“I just want to say that events like this — look at the people in here,” McKnight said. “Now that we have a new town and events like this, it’s good for the business. It’s so awesome. Even if they don’t buy anything, people in here are like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know about all of this.’ It brings them in so they can learn about what’s here and the place gets exposure, so events like this are very, very awesome. So glad to see it.
“Just the activity and getting people out, it’s new,” she added. “It’s wonderful.”
Other local groups, like Century Harvest Farms, attended the festival to increase engagement with the community.
“We’re trying to bring more of a community presence,” Marla Foster, Century Harvest community outreach coordinator, said. “We’ve been at the farm for two years, but haven’t really had a lot of community involvement, so that’s what we’re trying to do.
“We’re trying to make it more of a community engagement and get them involved with the farm and what we do. We plan on having more events at the farm next year and getting people more acquainted with what we do.
“We want people to recognize our faces,” she added. “We want people to come to us with issues or if they need help with something. We want to be that outlet. With this community in general, just doing these events and making sure people are aware of what we do, why we’re here, what we’re trying to accomplish.”
One event included a carved pumpkin contest, where smirking pumpkins lined a table outside the depot, awaiting someone to drop change into the cup that sat next to each pumpkin to benefit the community park.
“The contest is spare change to vote, and a penny is a vote, so whoever has the most money in their cup at the end gets a prize, which really is just a badge of honor,” Heather Jolliff, community member, said. “The funds are going toward new equipment at the city park.
“The park just needs to be updated,” she added. “One of the swing sets is something that I had in 1970. It’s just really old, so it needs to have commercialized equipment that’s sturdier and for all ages and we’re aiming for having equipment that’s handicap accessible so all kids of all sizes, all abilities can play on it.
“This is just the starting of it. This is the grassroots, the first penny. I’ve been telling people their difference may not be made today but in three or four years, they’ll see the outcome of contributing today.”