Blue Springs’ “Lights, Camera, Action” themed Fall Fun Festival begins Friday afternoon, promising many attractions and updates.The long-running community festival will take over the city’s downtown, where its organizers predict a crowd of 100,000 to 130,000 people.
Notably, attendees can expect to see a live white tiger exhibit called All Things Wild, one of the draws unique to this year’s event. The white tigers and their handlers will be on site all weekend, and those interested can get a close look for $3. This includes a chance to observe the tigers’ feeding time and ask questions. “Tiger talks” on tiger facts and conservation are every 45 minutes.
“We are super, super pumped. It will almost be like being in the tigers’ natural habitat,” Blue Springs Chamber Communication Specialist Dixie Robinson said of the exhibit. “It will be really atmospheric.”
Event organizers also anticipate a large crowd at the Ultimate Bar Challenge, which will challenge competitors to hold pull-ups for a certain amount of time. Those who succeed will be awarded $100 on the spot.
Those coming to the festival to see music performances or shop from vendors will find more than 260 vendors selling food, drinks, crafts and more – an increase from last year, prompting organizers to open up more streets – and six headlining acts of both local and national acclaim.
“We’ve gotten to where we have to have a waiting list,” Robinson said of vendor interest in the festival, calling it a testament to the event’s growth. “We’ve been overloaded.”
“American Idol” alum Jessica Meuse kicks off the Main Stage entertainment, outside the Budweiser Beer & Wine Garden fence on 11th Street at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Southern rock band Stone Senate at 7:30 p.m. and Kansas City cover band Turn of the Century at 9:30 p.m.
Entertainment amps back up Saturday with rock, country and blues mash-up The Plott Hounds taking the stage at 5:30 p.m., then soul act the Wesley Pruitt Band at 7:30 p.m. and cover band The M80s wrapping up at 9:30 p.m.
All shows are free, but accompanied by a cover charge and required age of 21 or older to enjoy from the beer garden.
While these performances may boast the excitement of the “Lights, Camera, Action” theme, this comes most into play with an annual festival favorite: the parade, unfolding 10 a.m. Saturday, where floats will display red, silver, black and gold.
IF YOU GO
Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival runs Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m in the city’s downtown. The festival is free to enter, with costs for the beer garden, carnival and white tiger exhibit.