By VERNON ROBISON
Moapa Valley Progress
The Clark County Fairgrounds were bustling with activity over the Nevada Day weekend with an all-new event in the community. The Logandale Fall Festival provided family-friendly fun on Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1.
It was the first year putting on the Fall Festival so it wasn’t surprising that there were a few little snags along the way; not least of which was a patch of chilly and windy weather on Saturday. It took a bite out of general attendance and did a little destruction to outdoor vendor tents and booths, according to event organizer Rik Eide of Logandale..
Even Eide wasn’t spared some of the weather damage. The awning over his Great Basin Cooking Company vendor space was blown away and destroyed in a heavy wind early Saturday morning.
“If anything, it was the weather on Saturday that killed us,” Eide said. “I think that we might have had a higher turnout on Saturday if it had been better.”
felt that the event was a great success.
“Otherwise everything went well with very few problems,” Eide said. “Of course, when you organize something like this it’s amazing how many little details have to be attended to. But our goal was to offer a nice family atmosphere and have a lot of fun doing it; and I think that we were successful in that.”
All in all, the event drew around 2,000 people, Eide said. The festival brought together a number of high quality fun events.
First off, it brought back the Southern Nevada Bluegrass Festival which was once an annual fall tradition at the fairgrounds but was discontinued back in 2010 because of communication snafus with the county over the use of the fairgrounds.
“It was good to have those guys back here in Logandale,” Eide said. “The feedback I got from them was that they just loved it! They were ecstatic about the new stage and performance venue. And the audiences over the weekend seemed to just eat it up.”
On Halloween Night, the Fall Festival also included the annual community Trunk or Treat event. More than 400 local kids came with their parents. The little spooks and spirits wended their way through the festivities, gathering candy at the various decorated trunks and vendor booths along the way.
“I think that everyone had a great time and we collected a lot of food for Cappalappa,” said Eide. Kids got into the festival for free on Friday if they brought non-perishable food donations for the local food pantry.
The festival also brought a new Nevada State Championship Barbecue Contest to the community. A total of twelve teams came to smoke it up on the fairgrounds and compete for more than $5,000 in prize money. The contest was officiated by professionals from the International Barbecue Cookers Association (IBCU) and the cooking was judged by members of the Moapa Valley Rotary Club.
An award ceremony was held on Saturday afternoon recognizing the top ten teams in four different categories including chicken, ribs, pork and brisket.
The Grand Champion Prize of the contest went to the “Trailhound Smokers” team: Timm and Crystal Martin. The grand prize was $750 in cash.
The Martins, of Las Vegas, have been entering barbecue competitions since 2010 and this was their first grand champion award. They have cooked for contests in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada and more.
“This contest was a lot of fun,” said Timm Martin. “The wind and rain affected us a little. But it had a nice relaxed, kick-back feel to it and it was a great time. We will definitely come back again next year.”
“Trailhound Smokers” also won first prize in the Ribs category, second prize in the brisket and the chicken categories, and third prize in the pork category.
The contest’s Reserve Champion was the “Stoke to Smoke” team. The prize was $500. This team was also in the top four of each category including second place in ribs and in pork, and third place in brisket and in chicken.
First place brisket went to the “BBQ Nerds” team. First place pork was awarded to the “Butts and Racks” team. And first place chicken went to the “Swine Time” team.
The festival also offered more than 30 different exhibitor tents and vendors of knick-knacks and handicrafts. And there were plenty of food concessions to service the crowd.
The Fall Festival was also home to a carnival midway provided by Paradise Amusements. The carnival kept up the fun for kids throughout both days and ran smoothly, except for a brief hitch on Friday night, Eide said.
“They had an electrical connection burn in half at one point that evening and it kind of shut them down for a while,” Eide said. “But they worked as fast as they could and got it fixed and they were back up and running. Generally they did a great job.”