The McIntosh Reserve Park is over 500 acres dedicated to primitive camping to keep the park as natural as possible. It is exquisite. Framed by the Chattahoochee River, with large trees and massive granite outcroppings, as well as natural meadows, it proved the perfect spot to celebrate the arrival of Autumn.
Apparently, the event has not been held for a couple of years and, when they announced that they were bringing it back, not only did it bring out all of its past participants, it brought out everyone from everywhere. They said it was probably the largest turn-out they’d ever had. I can believe it. There appeared to be thousands of people. Not to worry, there were enough vendors, shows, and activities to satisfy everyone. I was too busy to get around much, but I was close enough to hear the performances and smell the enticing aromas from all the food vendors. I did sneak away to see the Raptor Show (birds of prey, not dinosaurs) because it was at such a show that I discovered Brynn, the Falcon that followed Jasmine home in Meadow’s Keep.
I was there with my group, the Georgia Writers’ Alliance, including Joe Dwyer, Sid Brown, and Tamala Calloway. Saturday was the first time I’d ever set up a canopy and, after trying and failing the day before, I realized that it really works a whole lot better with someone at each corner. We were near the river and breezes cooled the hot temps and the trees offered the shade we needed not to wilt. On Sunday, I discovered two degrees can make a big difference in comfort but does nothing for the frizz factor in my hair. Oh, and they still haven’t make huge headway in port-a-potty luxury since the early days. They are still portable out-houses. Not hydrating can solve the bathroom issue, but it does nothing but produce a massive headache. Sunday, I sucked it up (aversion and coffee) and felt a whole lot better.
The people were so friendly and engaging–vendors, performers, and visitors. I think I ended up having as much fun as the guests did. There were so many highlights. One vendor came over and, finding out that my characters are the progeny of Native Americans and Scots, gave me books that had been her husbands (he passed away four years ago). She said he, who was an avid Native American historian, would have loved for me to have them. Later, a visitor picked up Meadow’s Keep, opened it, read my poem, Safe Harbor, and told me to please add one to each novel, that it was incredible. I informed her I was no poet. She replied, “Well, I am, and I’m telling you it’s excellent.” Both had me tearing up.
We were situated across from the bounce house and balloon pavilion, next to face painting. Truthfully, these festivals are for kids of all ages and we were as entertained as they were. I can’t tell you how many balloons flew, but the best was when the whole lot took off, sweeping into the sky. Well, all those that didn’t get caught in the trees. No worries. There was a plethora left to fill the hands and the skies over and over. Of course, my large quantity of full-size tootsie pops drew everyone like a homing beacon.
It was also very animal friendly, with an abundance of dogs and one large bearded lizard. Our location was situated where it was a continual parade of man and pet. Next year, I’m adding puppy treats.
If you are near Whitesburg, or even if you aren’t, come to the McIntosh Fall Festival and Pow-wow. It is an experience you won’t forget!
And while you are there, come meet Shanon Grey and let her introduce you Ruthorford and her magic!