The City of Lubbock Garden and Arts Center hosted its 50th annual Fall Festival today. The event began at 9 a.m. and will last until 5 p.m. The festival is open to the public with free admission and a required mask for entry.

A total of 50 local craft vendors have their booths and tents set up for the public to shop and buy from. Throughout the event, there are also many concessions and live entertainment that people can enjoy while shopping.

“It’s our 50th annual fall festival this year, so we’re so excited to have the event even with everything going on that we were able to have it,” Rebecca Webb, director of the Garden and Arts Center, said.

“Our 50th fall festival is a big event where we get to showcase all of the local craftsman and artists here in Lubbock and around the county and allow them to have a place to sell their items,” BriAnna Cruz, a senior majoring in art education at TTU from Lubbock who is a gallery assistant with the Garden and Arts Center said.

“It’s really just about supporting local businesses and local artists,” Kassadi Williams, a sophomore business major at TTU from Lubbock and a part-time gallery assistant with the Garden and Arts Center, said

Within the vendors, there are many homemade goods and foods that are ready to be bought. These local craft vendors were thrilled and eager to jump at this opportunity of the 50th-anniversary festival.

“We have 50 vendors that are all selling handmade items. Art as in everything from crafts from candles, jewelry, to woodwork, it’s just a wide variety of things which is just really exciting. We also have food trucks. We have crafts for the children. We have live entertainment, just a variety of family-friendly fun,” Webb said. “Within the 50 vendors, we have a wood-turning group that’s doing demonstrations, Lubbock Animal Services was here doing an adoption event. We got two dogs that were adopted today, so we’re so excited about that.”

“We try to get everybody involved. This year, we have the census, we had an adoption for pets, our libraries are here as well. It’s just a great event to get our community out here and get them familiar with our local artists and craftsman,” Cruz said, “You can get homemade jams, handmade masks, accessories and plants, there’s just a whole range of different things.”

With the event occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are different protocols and rules that have been set in place. The Garden and Arts Center has made sure to follow these different guidelines, so they are able to host the festival.

“We’ve had to redo our entire layout so that it’s very open and that we don’t have small aisles where people are congregating. We had to change everything," Webb said. "We have to require a mask which is kind of a pain but in our opinion very necessary. We have hand sanitizer stations posted throughout and we’ve really just had to be vigilant to make sure people are not keeping close to each other and had to make sure people are wearing masks. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that almost everybody has had a mask and is super willing to wear it.”

“This year we did do a wristband count to make sure how many people we had come in and masks are also mandatory,” Williams said.

Because of the pandemic earlier this year, they were forced to have to start things a little late compared to previous years. Webb said they were thrilled when they found out they could still even host it so from then on, they were going to make the festival happen no matter what.

“We got started a little late because we had to get permission and change a bunch of things, considering it’s our 50th year we were just really excited we were able to have it at all,” Webb said, “It’s always the second week in September, but usually we get started in March or April. We didn’t even get permission until July, so everything just came together, and everyone was super excited about it. The vendors were kind of chomping at the bit to get registered, so once we got the permission it just sort of flew.”

Webb said she hoped next year would be even better and she hoped more Tech organizations would come to volunteer next time. 

“We are so grateful to everybody in the community," Webb said. "I’m so grateful that everyone came and wore a mask and they’ve been so patient with the new layout and we’re so grateful that we had a few Texas Tech kids volunteer."

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