Celebrating its 29th year, the Fairfax Fall Festival will once again bring The Lovin' Spoonful to the City of Fairfax.
The 1960s folk rock band, which recorded hits "Do You Believe in Magic?" and "Summer in the City," will kick off the musical entertainment Saturday, Oct. 28 in downtown Fairfax.
"Getting together and getting the opportunity to play for people is just the ultimate pay back," said Joe Butler, who played drums for The Lovin' Spoonful in the 1960s. Now, Butler plays autoharp, guitar and lead vocals, alongside original band members Steve Boone and Jerry Yester and new additions Mike Arturi and Phil Smith. Butler likens the show to "the guys next door" playing for their friends in the backyard.
"It's amazing and such a delight to see kids, whether they're 8 years old or they're 15 years old, and they're singing the lyrics," said Butler. "It was music made by young people, and so young people relate to it."
"We thought the band would add to the excitement of the bicentennial," said Leslie Herman, special events coordinator for the City of Fairfax. "We used them four years ago at the Family Fun Fest. It was a great show, they had a lot of fun performing and we wanted to bring them back."
After breaking up in the late 1960s, The Lovin' Spoonful reunited in 1991, and entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
"You're there to serve the audience, you're there to communicate," said Butler. "A long time ago, I stopped singing at people. I started singing to them."
THE FESTIVAL will also feature local blues band The Black Cat Band and singer-songwriters Scott and Jennifer Smith of Naked Blue. The streets of downtown Fairfax will be filled with arts and crafts vendors, food courts, a new car show, rides and games, and live entertainment.
Jewelry, glass, pottery and pictures will be for sale at vendors' booths, as well as gourmet food, said Jo Ormesher, cultural arts coordinator for the City of Fairfax. Vendors include locals such as Paint Your Own Pottery, Moesel Photography and The Second Yard.
Children can enjoy carnival rides, pony rides and other activities outside City Hall on Armstrong Street, and more physical challenges for older youth such as an obstacle course and rock wall are available in the parking lot on University Drive and North Street.
Attendees can also check out rides at the new car show, sponsored by the Fairfax City Auto Dealers Association, on Armstrong Street in front of City Hall.
Local service organizations such as the Fairfax Lions Club and restaurants such as Red Hot & Blue, Bombay Garden, and others will have food for sale at various locations along University Drive, said Herman. The Lions Club and Knights of Columbus will host Octoberfest Beer Gardens in the food court at Sager Street and in the Shoppes of Main Street.
Admission to the festival is $3 for adults, and $1 for the youth activities area. First Aid Stations are located at City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St., and Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive.
Shuttle buses will run from Fairfax High School, George Mason University, and Woodson High School beginning at 9:30 a.m. Handicapped and bicycle parking will be located at City Hall and the municipal lot on Old Lee Highway, with additional parking available in the Judicial Center Parking Garage B on Page Avenue.
— Lea Mae Rice