City's Hay Bales Fall Festival Scheduled Oct. 20 at Bridgeport Recreation Complex

With a backdrop of rolling hills and fallen leaves, last year's Hay Bales Fall Festival drew families from throughout the area for an afternoon of seasonal fun. The hayride was the main attraction, but children also rode ponies, jumped in the bounce house, played games and gathered plenty of goodies.

As the calendar flips to October, Bridgeport Parks and Recreation is prepping for this year's annual festival, to be held Sat., Oct. 20 at Bridgeport Recreation Complex.

The tractor-pulled hay wagon will be ready for rider pickup at 3 p.m. A mile-long trail that winds throughout the complex generally accommodates walkers and joggers, but has proven to also be an ideal route for the hayride extravaganza. The hayride and other activities will last through 5 p.m.

“We’ll have carnival games with prizes and a bounce house, obstacle course and plenty of fall treats and candy,” said Parks and Recreation Coordinator Katie Squires. “We’ll have spin art, sand art, scratch-off pumpkins and other things kids can make and take home.”

New to this year’s event is a visit from the Disney Jr. family-friendly vampire, “Vampirina.” “Vampirina is popular with the kids. She’ll be roaming around, visiting with kids during the festival and kids can get pictures taken with her and meet her,” Squires said.

To get into the spirit, festival attendees are welcome to wear animal ears, witch hats or other festive accents or costumes.

“This is just a great, fun, family activity to do in the fall – a chance to come out and spend time together at our beautiful recreation complex,” Squires said. “It’s really a great fall activity for the kids of all ages and their families.”

There is no cost involved. All activities and refreshments are offered free of charge to members of the community. Parks and Recreation staff members work hard, putting in many hours to make the festival a quality event.

Squires said she wants to thank the Bridgeport Middle School Wyldlife group which helped with the event last year and is obliging again this year. “We’re excited to have them back,” she said.

The event is a longtime Bridgeport tradition, which has been held at different venues. Before relocating to Bridgeport Recreation Complex, it took place at Bridgeport City Park. Three years ago, inclement weather prevented outdoor activity and the festival was housed at Benedum Civic Center. The Civic Center is the alternate location for this year's festival, should weather be bad.

Editor's Note: Photos of last year's Hay Bales Fall Festival are by Ben Queen Photography