Rocking Around: RockingFest draws large crowd to LaFayette as holiday season unofficially begins – Valley Times-News

Rocking Around: RockingFest draws large crowds to LaFayette as holiday season unofficially begins

Published at 10:13 a.m. on Tuesday November 21, 2023

Downtown Lafayette hosted the fourth annual RockingFest on the Square on Saturday. The event, hosted by the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce (GVACC) and the city of Lafayette, brought together approximately 2,000 people and 68 vendors this year.

“It gives everyone a chance to get outside, it’s something affordable for their family,” said Carrie Wood, director of the GVACC.

The holiday-themed event jams LaFayette’s S\square for vendors selling crafts, food and other holiday items. The event is named after its iconic attraction, a 30-foot-tall manual rocking horse. Families lined up around the block for the chance to ride the horse, which was operated by a group of volunteers.

Todd and his daughter Evie Clemens said rocking was the best part of the day. Although Todd’s son Parker insisted the climbing wall was the winner.

For many families, RockingFest has become a tradition.

“We come every year,” Joanne Timmons said. Her husband, Kenyon, and children Nathan and Naomi have been coming from Valley to celebrate since the first RockingFest in 2020.

Even though Naomi hadn’t had her makeup done since last year’s event, she was confident it would be her favorite part this year.

Horse riding wasn’t the only entertainment. This year’s RockingFest featured several so-called “world’s largest” attractions. Snow-zilla Sr., the world’s largest slide, was a huge hit with the youngest participants. Just like the world’s largest snowman, which also doubled as a bouncy house.

The return attractions, the Everest Climb N Slide and Ice Rink, were also popular despite the sunny 70 degree day.

Keeping with the holiday theme, Santa and one of his elves appeared at noon to take Christmas photos with the children. The Grinch organized the party to do the same, as did a few bears; the Coca-Cola polar bear mascot and Smokey the Bear.

This year’s “Touch-a-Truck” event offered participants a tour of an ambulance, a fire truck and a sheriff’s truck.

Alongside the activities, there were community resources. The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center had a tent where medical professionals provided free COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, as well as information about the center’s services. There were also tents with resources for the Alabama State Divisions of Public Health and Mental Health.

Dale Frazer of the Chattahoochee Humane Society and his son, Scott, showed off some of their adoptable dogs. Romeo and Juliet, brindle and gray mixed breed dogs, happily allowed RockingFest attendees to pet them.

There was no shortage of food and drink, with vendors selling everything from barbecue to candy. Some of the food and craft vendors were young entrepreneurs from RockingFest. One of those vendors was Kendall “Winnie” Williams, who ran a lemonade stand called Winnie’s Lemmie’s.

With the event’s fourth and biggest year under his belt, Wood wants RockingFest to be a LaFayette tradition.

“It’s just a beautiful day here, and we want to keep it that way.” I look forward to many years to come,” Wood said.


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