AUBURN, Mass. – With more than 60 vendors to choose from and endless games for kids, hundreds of residents came out Saturday to the first-ever Auburn Fall Festival/ Homecoming celebration at the high school.
Kristen Pappas, director of recreation and culture, partnered with the Auburn Public Schools to present the fun-filled, action-packed day on Oct. 27. There were soccer and field hockey games, pumpkin painting, a costume contest, pony rides, train rides, face painting, live music, food and craft vendors and much more on the last Saturday in October.
“The town has really worked together in the true spirit of a community,” Pappas said. “The Auburn Police Department, the DPW, the Board of Health have all helped out, and the athletic director has been so supportive.
“It’s an honor to collaborate with the Auburn Public Schools,” Pappas added. “If the superintendent likes what she sees, then I’d be happy to collaborate with the schools annually. I give a lot of credit to Town Manager Julie Jacobson. She is a great collaborator to work with the superintendent, and it makes all of us be able to work together without boundaries.”
There were 69 vendors at the festival, including Boy Scout Troop 53, Crystal Caves, Critter Creations, McCoys Action Karate, Auburn Lions Club, Ataxia Awareness, and Keeping Auburn Warm.
“We’re doing a bake sale to try to raise money for oil, and we’re going to keep doing it because we don’t get enough help out there with the way the economy is right now, and people are in desperate need,” said Wayne Page, who is involved with Keeping Auburn Warm. “We only do this with donations, and we need the funding.”
Page said that if people would like to donate, they should call 508-832-3581.
John Mauro, an Auburn resident who suffers from Ataxia, a neurological disorder that affects muscle movements, sold candy apples, fried dough, other snacks and Ataxia bands at the festival. In addition to raising money for the National Ataxia Foundation on Saturday, Mauro also held his 5th annual three-mile run/walk/roll in September.
“We’re noticing that more people are learning about Ataxia, and the more we show up at these events, it will build on a large population of people knowing about us,” Mauro said. “People are finally learning what Ataxia is, which is great for awareness.”
Anita Tsantinis, member of the town’s recreation and culture department, thanked the sponsors for their help in “giving people something free to do.”
“Lundgren Honda donated a truck full of pumpkins for the children to decorate,” she said. “Hometown Bank donated a photo booth, which is a hit with the kids. Bells Garden Center donated a number of plants and pumpkins for the decorating of the event.”
She also thanked Webster First Federal Credit Union, Muscle Milk and Dole for helping sponsor the festival.