AFTON – After the a successful summer of events, the Afton Community Club is hosting what is slated to become the town’s signature annual event – Afton Autumn Days.
The idea to host the event came to the committee after seeing how many people descended on Afton each week for its weekly Tuesday Nights in the Park.
“We took what used to be called ‘Lawn chair nights’ and we turned that into ‘Tuesday Nights in the Park,’” Cook said. “It just had a more inviting name and that’s what our goal was; to get everyone of different ages involved in doing something.”
Cook said she was told Afton’s lawn chair nights attracted a couple dozen people, but with the addition of live music, food, activities and a farmers market, Afton became a bustling epicenter of community interaction on a Tuesday night.
“We had a little over a hundred people every night,” said Cook.
Dustin Baird, Mike Walsh of Creston, Kyle Jorgensen of Adair and Roger Burger of Lenox were some of the regional musicians to perform in Afton this summer, adding to the ambiance of the event.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Cook. “We try to keep it local, but it was still a great event.”
Afton Autumn Days, which starts Friday, used to be called “Women’s Day Out.” The annual event was well-attended, but the committee aimed to be inclusive of the whole community. The committee also aspired to create a signature event for the town, much like those in surrounding communities, such as Watermelon Days in Lorimor, Balloon Days in Creston, Pumpkin Days in Orient and Ayr Days in Mount Ayr.
Friday will include two movie showings in the park, a showing of “Coco” for children and “Friday the 13th” for older teens and adults. Saturday’s 5K that starts at 8 a.m. will run in to a fundraiser pancake breakfast at the Afton Volunteer Fire Department.
Saturday’s festivities include a vendor fair, BBQ contest, kid’s pumpkin decorating contest, pedal pull, bounce houses, bingo, car show, costume parade, bags tournament, street dance with performances by Oreo Meatwagon and Mike Walsh, and a Top Notch firework show.
Afton and Creston FFA chapters will hold a haunted house starting at 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Union County Fairgrounds. Cowboy church in the park will be 9 a.m. Sunday.
“We’re just a group of people who are trying to better our community in different ways,” said Cook. “Our whole goal is to bring people to town to support the small businesses, to help benefit our community and help better it, as well.”
For a full schedule of Afton Autumn Days and upcoming Afton events, follow Afton Community Club on Facebook.