You might wonder why this “Man Around Town” article sounds a bit like a Public announcement. In one sense it is but let me also confess right up front – I love the Fall Festival season. Tasty food, good music and fun games for those of all ages. What’s not to like? 

On Saturday the Fall Festival season officially kicks off with the 19th annual Fall Festival sponsored by the Grand Kids Learning Center (GKLC). Most of the games are aimed for Kids (such as a bouncy house and train rides) but for those a bit older you can always enjoy a game of cornhole or bobbing for donuts (much better than apples). There is always good food, and I will be working the caramel apples booth to support my granddaughter who attends GKLC. Life is pretty good when you can just kick back on a nice day at Winter Park/Fraser’s first Fall Festival of the year. 

An added bonus to enjoying this Fall Festival is that it’s the major fund raiser for GKLC. Money goes to support the continued expansion of the school, which recently grew with the merger of two long-time organizations. They have two locations now with one serving infants and toddlers and the other location focused on preschool and pre-K students. GKLC serves students between the ages of 8 weeks through 6 years old.  

GKLC has been serving the children of Grand County for many years. I recently found out that they are serving second (and in one case third) generations. Parents who went through the program years ago are now sending their own kids to GKLC to get an early start on their learning experience. 

GKLC’s continued growth not only comes from strong leadership and excellent teachers (some of whom have been there over 10 years and that I’ve gotten to know through my granddaughter) but also by creating strong partnerships with other community groups such as the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. I spoke with GKLC’s director, Ashley Bobo, and she walked me through their various programs, GKLC’s staff members and community partnerships. In addition to the Chamber as the main sponsor, this year includes over 50 local sponsors thanks to many local restaurants (if you have room after eating the festival food, please visit them), many real estate companies and related services, and medical groups among others. Music will be provided courtesy of the Blues Society. It’s a very impressive sponsorship list and shows the tremendous support GKLC gets from the community!

So, come out Saturday and enjoy this year’s first Fall Festival. Hideaway Park, noon to 5 pm. There’s also an online silent auction and you can get the app to participate while at the Festival. And if you’re feeling especially energetic, and want to also support GKLC further, sign up and play some golf the next day at GKLC’s annual Bert and Ernie Golf Tournament. It may be one of the last times you’ll be able to get out to Pole Creek and chase that little white golf ball around. Online sign up can be found at!/donation/checkout.

See you there!    

Man about town…

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