By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
If you experienced beautiful weather, fantastic music, and delicious food last weekend, chances are you were at the Logandale Fall Festival. In its second year, the festival brought attendees from throughout the region and as far away as Oregon. Organizers were pleased with its success.
“It went off great!” said Festival organizer Rik Eide. “We about doubled our attendance from last year. And we generated excitement and momentum for next year’s event. We are already looking forward to it.”
Eide said that Friday’s attendance was a little soft. But Saturday ended up being a solid day for the Festival. He estimated around 2,500 people attended this year’s event.
The Fall Festival was host to the Southern Nevada Bluegrass Society which was celebrating its 40th anniversary. But there was also plenty of other fun to be had including art and vendor booths, food vendors, a kids zone, and a BBQ cookoff with over $5,000 of prize money at stake. In other words, there was really something for everyone.
“My focus with this event is to have a festival that doesn’t exclude any local people,” said Fall Festival organizer Rik Eide. “We have vendors selling handmade items, but we also have vendors selling other things or showcasing their local businesses.”
Of the ten food booths, five were from local vendors and of the thirteen teams entered in the BBQ cookoff, five were local. Local vendors were also well represented in the art/craft/business booths.
Eide appreciated all of the volunteer efforts to help with the Festival. The Moapa Valley Revitalization Project (MVRP) members volunteered in the ticket booths and the local FFA organization helped to set up and decorate. FFA students, coordinated by Kevin and Denise O’Toole, helped with set up and take down for the festival.
“And we couldn’t have done it without Connor Adams,” Eide said. “He must have moved about 40 tons of trash for us over the weekend.”
One of the highlights of the festival was a beautiful handmade sculpture of a Halloween Village in the center of the Fine Arts building. It was beautifully done with amazing attention to detail and depicted scenes and characters from the Nightmare Before Christmas. It was sculpted from a block of foam and made especially for this event. It was also a crowd favorite and a great spot for photos.
Attendance at the festival was split between locals and those that drove out for the event. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.
“This is a great family activity.,” said local mom Melissa Hardy. “It’s also great to come and know we are supporting the local economy. Of course, we’re also here for the great food.” Other local kids seemed to agree that it was fun for all ages. Jason Bindner, 11, said,
“This is my first year coming but it has been a lot of fun,” said Jason Bindner, 11. “The nachos are awesome!”
His sister Kalyn, 7, agreed that the food was good, but she said, “I like the music best. And the rides. I think the rides are my favorite.”
One of the highlights of the Festival was the BBQ cookoff. The contest had three separate categories and most teams entered all three. The categories were chicken, ribs (pork), and brisket (beef). There were ten awards given in each category and each award was accompanied by a cash prize. There were also trophies and medals given for 1st through 5th place. First place in each category won $350.
As good-natured as the contest was, it was still serious cooking and the winners were happy for their prizes. In the chicken event, 1st place went to Say Hello To My Little Smoker. In the ribs category, 1st place was won by Trailhound Smokers. Trailhound Smokers also took 1st place in the brisket category.
The grand champion prize for the contest, and winner of a plaque and $1,000, was Trailhound Smokers of Las Vegas for the second year in a row.
“It’s awesome to come back and defend the title from last year,” said Trailhound Smoker Bill Martin. “ This is our first contest this year, but to win is fantastic.”
The reserve champion and winner of a plaque and a $500 cash award, was local BBQ team Smokin’ and Jokin’ made up of Kyle Heiselbetz and Don Adams.
“We were just happy to provide an opportunity for local people to do business and to give the local economy a little boost,” said Eide. “We appreciated all of the local support and look forward to seeing everyone next year.”