September 29-October 1, 2023
Each year, thousands of people converge on the small lake community of Townsend for an autumn celebration unlike any other in the state. A gigantic sandpile is filled with prizes for children to unearth. A stein hoisting competition puts a unique spin on the traditional strongman competition. The Fall Fest offers three days of music, shopping, food, fun, and on October 1, one of the largest car shows in the state.
And the best part? It’s free. “Unlike a lot of other festivals, we don’t charge admission, and it’s a family friendly event,” explains Jeff Langlinais of Townsend’s Rotary Club, the organization which puts on the festival.
While Fall Fest is free to the public, the event acts as the local Rotary’s annual fundraiser. The club sells beer and brats, while sponsors provide funding for not only the festival, but for other Rotary projects as well. “When I moved to Townsend, everyone told me, ‘If you want something to get done, get the Rotary involved,’” says Langlinais. At the local level, Rotary is involved in a number of projects, including an upgrade of the Broadwater Food Pantry, funding local extracurriculars, and organizing activities for families and children to keep young people invested in the community. Langlinais believes it’s important to note that Rotary has done some incredible things for not only local communities, but the world. “In the mid ‘80s, Rotary decided it was going to fight polio. At that time, there were about 350,000 cases of polio a year,” Langlinais explains. “Rotary contacted the World Health Organization and has been inoculating people ever since.
In 2022, there were only 30 cases of polio in the world!” When you attend Fall Fest, consider making a donation to Rotary, and of course, have a great time! For more information, visit townsendmtfallfest.com.