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Fall Festival excites crowd, participants in Pahrump

Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Erwin had rave reviews regarding the past weekend’s 2017 Pahrump Fall Festival and it was another success.

The 53rd annual event, which got underway at Petrack Park on Thursday, wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

Erwin said he spoke to numerous vendors while walking the festival grounds over the weekend.

“We thought we had a great year and all the vendors I spoke to were very pleased,” Erwin said. “There were definitely a few vendors who said that they did OK, but not great, but I didn’t have anyone tell me that they did absolutely horribly. If we’re starting at average and moving up, I’m happy with that. I thought the turnout was great. It was really what we expected this year. It was really good.”

Erwin also spoke about some of the changes to the event, compared to previous years.

“There were not a whole lot of changes aside from the parade route this year,” he said. “This year we had the video game trailer set up on the basketball court for the kids. I thought it went well and it seemed like the kids were really enjoying it. They were playing Mario Kart against their friends.”

Notably, Erwin said he did receive a few comments from festival goers regarding the overall layout at the park.

“Actually, the layout we had this year, in terms of where the stage was and where the vendors were, was actually the same as it was last year,” he said. “The only difference was, last year, the stage straddled the pitcher’s mound on the softball field.”

“This year, we brought it forward so it was right on the edge of the grass. We did that so the people didn’t have to mess around with any of the dirt on the infield. It was all grass this year. That was what we wanted to achieve and we did. I thought it worked out well.”

Music and more

Entertainment was another topic of discussion for Erwin, as not all of the talent was local.

“We had great entertainment this year and it was something like 28 or 29 bands who performed. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe four or five of the bands were not local artists. I thought it was a very good representation of some of the bands that are here locally. I also want to say that the arts and crafts portion of the Fall Festival went off without a hitch. It was very cool to walk through there and look at all the entries. It was pretty amazing. Joyce Higginbotham organizes it every year and she is amazing.”

Regarding the vendors at the festival, not all were locals.

David Fury is the owner of Fury’s NFL Shop.

Fury arrived on Thursday from Henderson.

“We had a store there but it was so seasonal, we had to close it after a year, so now we just do events like these,” he said. “We have been in business for about 10 years now, and we did well Friday night. The NFL season is just kicking off right now so it’s a good time for us and those who want to purchase NFL merchandise.”

“This is our sixth or seventh year participating in the Fall Festival,” Fury said. “We come out here twice a year for the hot air balloon festival and the fall festival. It is worth making the trip to Pahrump from Henderson because it’s not that far away. We just drive over the hill and we’re here.”

George Ostler, owner of Pop’s Kettle Corn, set up shop along the tree line at the park.

Ostler, in business for roughly four years, arrived from Cedar City, Utah last week.

“This is our first year participating as vendors in the Pahrump Fall Festival,” he said. “I first heard about this event when I came out here to the hot air balloon festival. It was well worth coming out here as a vendor. There’s great people here and the Chamber of Commerce was also great to work with. We have had a lot of fun.”

Area vendors

Among the local vendors at the park was Sister Margo of Pahrump’s Caribbean Lifestyle.

Margo is co-owner of the business, along with reggae artist Stan Rankin T.

Margo has been a vendor at the festival for decades.

“We have also been participating in the fall festival for the past 30 years,” Margo recalled. “It is well worth coming out to the Pahrump Fall Festival as a vendor. Our booth is a very popular one and we get a lot of young people stopping by. It’s been beautiful from the first day this year. Before we could even get set up, people were checking out our merchandise. It’s just been wonderful. We are local residents and have lived here for a long time.”

Willie and Mayola Luster returned to the park once again this year as local vendors.

The couple’s business is known as Real Time Pain Relief, a topical rub-on medication for pain.

“It’s been kind of slow, but we’re here and we hope to do well,” he said. “This is our fourth year participating and it is really worth coming out here, even just to meet the people. We’ve been in business for five years.”

Erwin, meanwhile, said chamber officials plan to hold a post-festival meeting, to discuss this year’s event and plan for the 2018 Pahrump Fall Festival.

“With this event, occurring once a year, we know that even though the festival is four days, we have been planning for it for the past six months leading up to it,” he noted. “It was a lot of work, but we are happy with the results. We will probably have a wrap-up meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss this year’s festival. I don’t anticipate any additional changes, but I know the parade route will be a hot topic of discussion.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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