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Country Fair, Spooktacular Return

Annual festivals highlight fall fun in Great Falls.

Four-year-old Henry Carlson of Reston follows Bantu, an African Spurred Tortoise, at the St. Francis Country Fair. The fair included a petting zoo hosted by the Bar C Ranch of Berryville. Other fair activities included games, hayrides, music, and a regional quilt show.

Four-year-old Henry Carlson of Reston follows Bantu, an African Spurred Tortoise, at the St. Francis Country Fair. The fair included a petting zoo hosted by the Bar C Ranch of Berryville. Other fair activities included games, hayrides, music, and a regional quilt show. Photo by Marsden Media

Fall brings several annual traditions to Great Falls, events that help local residents to celebrate the season in style. On Saturday, Oct. 5, St. Francis Episcopal Church will host their annual country fair.

The grassy meadow between the church and Georgetown Pike will be mowed to make room for parking, and the outside of the church will be transformed into a playground filled with live music, children’s games, hayrides, a dunk tank, a petting zoo and more.

The inside of the church will host the book sale, which will feature hardcovers, paperbacks, CDs and DVDs.

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Quilters from throughout the Washington region attended the quilt show at the St. Francis Country Fair.

This will be the 29th year that the church has hosted its quilt show, which displays quilts from around the country, including several that have been named among the “100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century” at the International Quilt Festival.

“The country fair is a must attend for our entire family, because we’re able to let the kids run around and play games, my mother and I can browse the books and quilts, and my husband enjoys the food and music,” said Jen Sobol of Great Falls.

This year’s fair will also feature a special addition.

“One of our longtime parishioners is also a bestselling author. Catherine Mathews is the author of ‘My Family’s Journey,’ a story about her childhood and living through the Great Depression and World War II,” said Brian Geib, one of the fair’s organizers. “She’ll be at the fair with her book, signing copies.”

The Difficult Run Jazz Band will take the stage from 10 a.m. to noon, JC and the Hepcats will play from noon to 2 p.m. and The Great Zucchini will perform from 2 to 4 p.m.

The fair will be at St. Francis, 9220 Georgetown Pike, on Saturday Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.stfrancisgreatfalls.com/"

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The Great Falls Village Green serves as a trick or treat stop for Great Falls children during the annual Spooktacular.

The village green will be the site of several annual Halloween events, including the annual Spooktacular. The event gives local children a chance to trick or treat at local businesses. Businesses on both sides of Walker Road will be giving out candy, the Langley High School Band will perform, and the annual pet parade will start it all off.

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Children trick or treat at the Great Falls Village Centre during the annual Halloween Spooktacular.

The Falls Salon will host their annual haunted forest, and Adeler Jewelers will have a princess and a scary area on their porch.

One feature of the Spooktacular that was missing last year will return, the haunted house run by the Great Falls Friends and Neighbors.

“Last year the grounds were so soaked from rainfall that we couldn’t assemble the house because we were afraid everything would get ruined,” said Lisa Spoden, a member of GFFN. “Hopefully the weather holds up this year, because we’ll be ready with our usual haunted house, which has a real coffin and even some animatronics.”

The house will be set up on the village green, and members of the GFFN will man the entrances and give out candy to those who go through.

Donations are accepted at the entrance, and will go to benefit Artemis Shelter House, a Herndon-based nonprofit that fights homelessness, and domestic violence, Kids R First, which provides scholarships funding and school supplies for students in need, Amadeus Concerts, a music outreach group and the Friends of Riverbend Park.

“The house is meant for all ages, we’ll let our volunteers know not to go too crazy when the younger kids go through, and if people want to be scared more, we’ll certainly accommodate them,” Spoden said.

The annual pet costume parade will take place on the village green Thursday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 4:45 p.m., and the Spooktacular will take place Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.

More information is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.celebrategreatfalls.org/"