Yelm’s First Fall Harvest Festival Deemed a Success

By Daniel Warn / dan@yelmonline.com
Posted 9/28/21

To cap off the first full week of Autumn, about 3,000 people shopped and toured through Yelm’s first Fall Harvest Festival at Yelm City Park on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The festival featured …

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Yelm’s First Fall Harvest Festival Deemed a Success

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To cap off the first full week of Autumn, about 3,000 people shopped and toured through Yelm’s first Fall Harvest Festival at Yelm City Park on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The festival featured around 100 vendors between the ones brought by the event itself and those brought in by the Yelm Farmers Market, which ran congruently.

Many of the attendees shopped for items, with two Yelm-area youth becoming particularly impressed by all the offerings.

Max Mitchell, 13, said the event had some really “cool” vendors, with one in particular being a shirt vendor, while Bonnie Newcomb, 13, thought the prices on many of the festival’s wares were worth the trip.

“Most of the stuff is really cheap here and it’s good quality,” Newcomb said. “I really like the paper lanterns they have over there. This just helps the people when they want to make money and stuff, because they make good things.”

Shaylee Bauer, of Roy, recently moved to the area from Olympia and felt the trip out to the Yelm Fall Harvest Festival was a worthy one.

“I think festivals like this are pretty cool,” Bauer said. “It’s neat to have all the people in this area come together with things that they’ve made or created.”

Bauer made sure to pick up some locally grown plants — a string of pearls and a succulent  — while her son enjoyed some of the activities that were offered.

Other folks intermingled with the many Disney characters that attended the event by way of Disney Part of Your World Princesses. Cinderella, Moana, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Belle and Snow White were in attendance, among others.

Stephanie Blose played the role of Maleficent during the festival, as she marched through the lines of booths, scowling at everything and looking mysterious in her dark gown and headdress.

“It’s absolutely spectacular being here, especially this year,” Blose said. “The last few years, it’s been so hard, especially for the kids. So to be out here and able to do something for them and see them smile … is the best job in the whole world.”



Blose said events like the Yelm Fall Harvest Festival “are essential for the community to feel like people again.”

Brandy Totman, of Olympia, welcomed Blose’s Maleficent to her booth, “Imaginative Expression,” where Totman hoped folks would find something to help themselves feel imagination and joy. Totman offered vinyl products, T-shirts, tumblers, mousepads and more.

When Maleficent neared her booth, Totman snapped a photograph with her, an offering the Disney characters made available to attendees free of charge.

“It was amazing,” Totman said, of seeing Maleficent at her booth. “I do a lot of tumblers in Maleficent. The one I took a photo of with Maleficent was a special one with jewels. I absolutely love it.”

Maverick Erkelens, a local elementary school student, met Captain America, who was also in attendance, but was unsure if he was the real Captain America, or an imposter.

“The real captain America doesn’t wear his cap head as much,” Maverick said.

And Yelm Mayor JW Foster was also seen taking photos with Captain America.

“How could you not enjoy this event?” Foster said. “We brought in the best weather of the summer. The splash pad is going. The park looks beautiful. There’s hundreds of people here.”

Foster made sure to point out there were not more than 500 people in attendance at that time, so it was OK that some folks were not wearing their masks.

“People seem to be really loving it,” he said. “The food is great. There’s lots of entertainment for the kids. This is great. This is what Yelm is supposed to do for its community.”

Ultimately, Foster said he wanted to thank LaDonna Shea Hockaday for organizing the event.

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