Mica Evans | Echo
On Oct. 20 Grains and Grill restaurant hosted their third annual fall festival in hopes of providing the Fairmount community with something not only kid-oriented but family oriented as well.
Joanie Howard, owner of Grains and Grill restaurant, originally created this event with hopes of bringing more attention and excitement to Fairmount. The turnout of the Fall festival was mostly young children; however, because young children are required to have chaperones, parents and older siblings attended and had a great time as well. Howard hosted a June festival which she referred to as the June market so that the community could also have a festival to attend in the summer.
The festival consists of activities for children such as pumpkin decorating, face painting, balloon twisting, caricature artistry and more for free. For the older folks, there are games such as corn hole, life-sized Jenga and many board and card games. Wifi is available as well. When the June market is in effect, there are strictly handmade items for sale. Of all the activities available, Howard enjoys the children's activities most.
"The face painting is probably my favorite!" Howard said.
Last Saturday, there was an estimated amount of over 2,000 people in attendance at the festival, and the turnout in June of this year was near the same. Howard encourages the Taylor community to come out and attend future Grains and Grill summer and fall festivals. She loves seeing how much people look forward to coming out to the festival as it makes her happy to know that she is doing something that brings joy to her community.
For those who enjoy socializing or refer to themselves as extroverts, Howard also encourages you all to attend the festival. Many visitors attend the festival with no knowledge of what to expect and leave more than satisfied.
"It's a great place to meet friends" Howard said.
Taylor University junior, Sarah Robinson attended this year's fall festival. This was her first time attending the festival, so she was unsure of what to expect. However, after attending, she had nothing but great reviews.
Robinson stated that she enjoyed the excellent food and the variety of games, but what she enjoyed most was the pumpkin carving.
"This place was truly amazing" Robinson said . "If you're looking for a place to go in October to do something with the family or with a significant other, I highly recommend going to the Grains and Grill Fall Festival."
Those who love pizza and Italian food in general are also encouraged to come out and support the festival. Howard stated that they have imported an Italian pizza oven which is located in their brewery, and it will soon be family friendly. The pizza made in the oven is a 'Neo-Neapolitan' style pizza, which is basically a pizza-pie. The pizzas are handmade with Italian flour, handmade sauce and fresh high-quality house cut meats.
The food is definitely an impactful part of the Grains and Grill festival. Delicious foods range from half pound burgers to 40-ounce steaks, and Howard believed that the newly imported pizza oven was sure to attract more visitors to this year's festival.
Everyone hoped for great weather at this year's festival. In fact, Howard believed that the best thing that could happen was a beautiful day. For the past three years, the festival has been blessed with good weather. This past Saturday, there was no rain, but there was lots of wind.
"Many of the vendors had to pull down their tents," Howard said, "but, it still was a wonderful day!!"
Despite the less-than-perfect weather, Fairmount residents were still out in full force due to their love for the festival. Howard invites the Taylor community to come out to future Grains and Grill festivals and get a taste of what Fairmount and other Indiana residents do to enjoy their fall season.
If you know anyone who has a young child or someone who loves pizza and other savory meats, then encourage them to mark in their calendars future Grains and Grill festivals. Hopefully, as years go by, the interest and size of Howard's Grains and Grill Fall Festival will increase as well. Robinson gave this year's festival a 10 out of 10 and she is sure you will too.