BENNINGTON >> For the fifth straight year, super heroes, knights, dragons, princesses and more flooded Main Street for Fallapalooza.
Hosted by the Better Bennington Corporation and the businesses of downtown Bennington, this year’s fall festival saw Main Street closed to vehicle traffic from Valentine Street to the Four Corners, and School Street was closed from Main to Pleasant Street. Costumed children went from business to business collecting candy, and street vendors sold food, clothing, jewelry, and more. The event lasted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Fallapalooza began in 2011, and grew out of the Great Pumpkin Challenge, which the BBC started in 2006 to compete with the pumpkin festival in Keene, New Hampshire. After the Pumpkin Challenge suffered from declining turnout several years in a row, event organizers set out to create a festival with an atmosphere more similar to Bennington’s Mayfest.
Businesses participating in the door-to-door trick-or-treating included Crazy Russian Girls Bakery, Village Chocolate Shoppe, TD Bank, Hoisington Realty, Panache, Ramuntos, Bringing You Vermont, Bennington Sports and Graphics, Bennington Pizza House, Evans News, Bennington Lost and Found, and Knapps. Catamount Glass, on County Street, also participated in the event, with a beer tent and live music featuring Julie Shea from noon until 4 p.m.
Matthew Perry of the Vermont Arts Exchange and members of Bennington College’s Program Activity Council were on hand with painting activities for kids. The VAE also had adults write on leaves one thing they loved about Bennington, and one thing that could be improved about Bennington, and hung them from a tree. Bennington Community Theatre had a ring-toss game set up near Madison’s, and the Woodford SnoBusters gave kids a chance to toss a beanbag into a snowmobiling helmet, for a chance to win a prize. The Bennington Farmers’ Market also moved to School Street for the special occasion.
Musicians who performed at the event included the Hale Mountain Pickers, who played at the Farmers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Ben Mackin, who performed outside of Evan’s News from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Immune Friction, who played at TD Bank from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Wild Country Cloggers, Bennington Community Theatre, and the Mount Anthony Union High School Drama Club also had performances throughout the day. Bennington Community Theatre and the Bennington Cancer Crusaders also put on the second annual Nightmare in Bennington haunted attraction on Saturday night at the Benmont Mill. The Starline Rhythm Boys also performed at Oldcastle Theatre Company at 8 p.m.