Frenship’s fab fall festivities: Ballooning, Harvest Festival to be held this month at Wolfforth’s Patterson Park
As the summer heat fades away in Frenship, fall festivities are planned for residents.
The first of the fall activities is the South Plains Balloon Roundup, which is put on by the Southwest Regional Balloon Club in Lubbock.
The balloon roundup will be held on Sept. 12 at Patterson Park in Wolfforth and Sept. 13 at Buffalo Springs Lake.
Each morning, the balloons are scheduled to launch by 7:30 a.m. This is the sixth year for the club to host the event in Wolfforth.
Mary Ann Poteet, the president of the Southwest Regional Balloon Club, said there are already 16 balloons registered to take part in the event, including one from Oklahoma and at least four from New Mexico.
“We’ve had more. It’s probably on the lower end,” said Poteet. “A lot of people are just getting older. It’s an expensive hobby. And part of it is the economy.”
But for those who show up to the Wolfforth balloon launch, Poteet said she hopes they can see a perfect balloon launch day.
“If it’s a perfect day, probably everybody will take off at the same time. Sometimes it’s a wait and see — wait and see what the other guy’s gonna do, or how it’s going to go,” she said.
The perfect ballooning day, she said, has a light wind — but not too much wind — something less than 5 mph.
“And just sort of a bright, nice, clear day,” she said.
Summers in the Frenship area are really too hot and windy to fly balloons, she said, but as the weather begins to cool a bit in the fall, balloon flights are more feasible.
“It’s been getting down in the lower to mid-60s now, as opposed to staying in the 70s,” she said of the nights in Frenship.
Poteet said she was first attracted to flying balloons during her very first flight. She spent years just crewing balloons before she ever bought her own, she said.
“It’s fun just working it from the ground, too,” she said.
She’s hoping to find similar crew volunteers for the Wolfforth launch.
“We do need people to help crew, because we probably need some 25-30 people, or volunteers,” she said. “If they’re interested in that, they should probably be there 6:30 or 7 o’clock.”
Volunteers should wear sturdy outdoor clothes, Poteet said. She also advised potential volunteers to avoid wearing nylon and to wear work gloves. She said those interested in crewing should also plan to allow two to three hours of time if they also want to chase and pack up the balloon after the flight.
Organization of the annual event has become easier over the years, Poteet said.
“We have our contacts. And a lot of it’s on computer now, so it’s a lot easier,” she said.
The city of Wolfforth is very helpful in organizing the event too, she said. This year, she said Mayor L.C. Childers has been particularly helpful.
“I think this year I’ve talked to him more than anyone else,” she said.
Childers said the event is open to everyone in the area, and the city of Wolfforth enjoys having them.
“It’s always a big day when they come to Wolfforth. It’s a big happening, and we look forward to it,” he said.
Wolfforth residents will have only a few days to wind down from the balloon roundup before they will need to put on their festival clothes and head to Patterson Park again for the Harvest Festival on Sept. 19.
The Harvest Festival is an opportunity for the community to celebrate the harvest of cotton in the agriculturally based town of Wolfforth. The festival is hosted by the Wolfforth Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. This year’s theme is Get in the Groove.
Co-presidents of the chamber Shawndelle Kreger and Julie Merrill are in charge of the event this year, which will be the 19th annual festival.
The festival will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a five-kilometer run for ages 12 and older. A parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Frenship High School, and will head south along F.M. 179 to Fifth Street. The parade will then proceed down the access road to Patterson Park.
At 10 a.m., the Qualls Memorial Baseball Complex, located at the edge of Patterson Park, will open for the festival activities, which will include food and crafts booths, live entertainment and a car show. The Harvest Festival Queen will be presented at noon, and a one-mile Fun Run for students in grades kindergarten through sixth will be held at 10 a.m.
Of all the Harvest Festival activities, Kreger said her ones she looks forward to the most are the adult run and the children’s Fun Run.
Merrill said she loves the Harvest Festival because it is a safe and fun place for the whole family to enjoy the day.
“It is an event that brings people of all ages together,” said Merrill. “As a community, we look forward to this every year.”
Merrill said organizers are still seeking more vendors for booths, parade entries and entertainment acts for the festival. She said the organizers are open to cheer and dance groups and martial arts displays for entertainment during the day.
For more information about the Wolfforth Harvest Festival, contact city hall at (806) 866-4215.
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