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Halloween festivals draw big crowds

Despite some cold, rainy weather in the local area Thursday evening, people turned out in a big way for fall festivals hosted by the cities of Lanett and Valley.

“We were extremely pleased with the crowd we had last night at the Jane Farrar Event Center,” Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy said Friday afternoon. “It was the first time in several years we’d done something like that on Halloween, and we’re glad we did. It was a lot of fun to see so many people dressed up for Halloween. There were a lot of parents dressed up with their kids. With it being so cold (Thursday), it was a good idea to hold it indoors. I’m sure that helped with the turnout.”

The mayor thanked city department heads for manning the tables where the candy was given away.

“We also had others helping us we want to thank,” he said. “They include the staff of the Chambers County Development Authority, members of the First Christian Church and Panthers with a Passion were there to help.”

Panthers with a Passion is a booster group for W.O. Lance Elementary School in Lanett.

Adding a nice touch for the evening was the fact the nearby downtown fountain was orange for Halloween night.

“I’m so glad the fountain was pink for most of the month of October,” McCoy said. “I’ve had so many cancer survivors, people with cancer survivors in their families and those who lost loved ones to cancer tell me they appreciated what we were doing.”

Pink is the color associated with breast cancer awareness. A Lanett-based organization, Team WHIP (Working to Help Those in Pink) was present when the fountain flowed pink for the first time on Oct. 1.

The fountain will likely be red and green during the Christmas season and just green in January.

“We’ll be doing that in honor of those who are alive today because of a donated organ and the thoughtfulness of those who donated them,” McCoy said.

By far, the biggest turnout in the local area was at the Valley Fall Festival at Valley Community Center.

“We are so pleased at the way the community responded,” said Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount. “We want to thank our staff and all the vendors who helped make it a big success.”

An estimated 2,000 children and adults came through the big community room between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., taking part in the many games that were set up, having fun in the bouncy houses and collecting candy at more than 20 tables, according to Blount.

Mayor Leonard and Chambers County Commissioner Debra Riley had a booth and gave out of candy long before 8 p.m.

“We have had one great turnout tonight,” Debra Riley said Thursday night.

Other businesses and organizations manning tables included Advance America, A.D. Robinson Chapter No. 544 Order of the Eastern Star, Renasant Bank, the Chambers County Emergency Communications District, Pine Forest Congregational Christian Church, First Baptist Church of Valley, Chattahoochee Humane Society, Alabama Power, U.S. Census Bureau, Arby’s, Boyd’s Screen Printing & Auto, Valley High Band Boosters, Valley High Key Club, Valley Family Dentistry, Friends of Casey Chambley, WestRock, East Alabama Fire Department, Valley Police Department and The Ray Highway. Making donations to help with expenses were AuburnBank, Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Homes, Inc. and Etherton Family Dentistry.