This year will mark the fifth anniversary of the annual Grimes Fall Family Festival put on by Grove and Platt Dental Associates and other area medical providers. This year’s fest is again located at the dental office at S.E. Third Street on Nov. 3 from 2 – 4 p.m. The event promises tons of fun for the whole family — and best of all the entire event is completely free.
“It got started because we wanted to give back to the community and provide a free fun family event, and really it’s the medical professionals of the community who put it on,” says Andy Grove of Grove and Platt Dental Associates. “We started it in our parking lot where we have a lot of room and where the other professionals are close by.”
This year’s participating businesses include Grove and Platt Dental Associates, Back to Health Chiropractic, Medicap Pharmacy, Snap Fitness, Grimes Plaza Veterinary Clinic, Williamson Family Chiropractic, Simple Turn, Hy-Vee Drugstore, Nerem Family Chiropractic, Lifestream Chiropractic, Patterson Dental Supply Company, YMCA and Total Family Eyecare. This year is a record for the number of businesses participating in the event. It has also gotten bigger in attendance each year, drawing more and more people from Grimes and the surrouding metro.
Grove says there will be plenty of fun activities for all ages including face painting, cookie decorating, a ring toss with pumpkins, painting pumpkins, dodge ball, animal masks, jack-o-lantern bean bag toss, candy corn bowling and a grand prize game.
They bring an old cider press, too, so people can enjoy a glass of fall goodness while participating in the activities. This year, kids can also take advantage of pony rides.
Organizers have also made a coloring sheet that is distributed to area elementary schools and is available in all participating businesses. Be sure to pick one up, give it your best coloring work and turn it in for a prize at the festival.
Dr. Matthew Howie of Total Family Eyecare has been involved with the festival since its inception. He says it’s a lot of fun.
“It’s an easy way to give back to the community,” he says. “We don’t really have a fall festival in town, and most of those community things really rely on Parks and Recreation or the Chamber, and it’s nice to do something without having to make them work.”
Dr. Nick Nerem of Nerem Family Chiropractic also got involved when the festival started. He says the health care providers in the area like giving back to the patients who patronize their businesses. He has seen the event grow each year.
“We always do pumpkin painting,” he says. “The first year we had 75 pumpkins, and we ran out and now I get about 200. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of family fun. It’s absolutely free, and everyone can just come out and have a good time.”
Dr. Aaron Wilson from Grimes Plaza Veterinary Clinic says his own kids love coming to the festival each year. They provide cat and dog masks for the kids to decorate and wear around, and Wilson brings in his own dog for the kids to pet and hang out with — always a popular attraction for the youngsters.
Grove says he anticipates that this year will draw as many people as ever from the event — maybe even as many as 500. They are ready for the crowd and excited to provide an afternoon of fun.
“It’s a really great time for children and parents and everyone, and it’s free,” he says. “It’s a way for us to give back for all the community that supports us. Everyone is welcome.”
If you’re itching for something fun to do before you head on out to the fall festival, check out the sixth annual Halloween Fest at the Grimes Community Complex (410 S.E. Main St.) on Saturday Oct. 26, from 5 – 8 p.m.
Grimes Parks and Recreation offers kids of all ages a fun chance to get in costume and have a great time. The community center will be decked out in spooky fun Halloween décor, and there will be a fun room for toddlers as well as a haunted maze for kids ages 8 and older. Grimes Jazzercise will be having activities, and the local Girl Scouts will be having a bake sale. Kids can also get their faces painted, eat a Lions Club supper, and parents can pick up information (and kids can pick up candy!) from local businesses that will be present. And, of course, there will be plenty of tricks and treats. Make sure you wear your costume, too — there will be a mini costume parade for kids of all ages.
“It’s basically a festival for everyone,” says parks and recreation director Brett Barber. “It started as a group of volunteers who got together and enjoyed Halloween, and we started off in a smaller room and it’s expanded from there. We had 250 people the first year, and last year we ended up around 500. The more people we have, the more volunteers we need, and those people have really stepped up, and it’s gotten bigger and better.”
All ages are welcome. Admission is $3 per person or a maximum of $10 per family. Kids ages 2 and younger are free. No registration is required, so get out your costume and head on over for an evening of fun.
Then don’t forget Beggar’s Night in Grimes is Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6 – 8 p.m. Drivers should be aware this is a time when several kids are out walking the neighborhoods. Please take extra caution and be sure to go slowly on neighborhood streets.
Kids are encouraged to take into account the following tips: don’t go out alone, wear reflective clothing if possible, have your parents inspect all treats before you eat them, watch for cars, and stay away from unfamiliar neighborhoods.
Happy Hallloween and happy fall from Grimes Living.