Collingswood hosts their annual fall festival


Julia Sitnick ('25)

Pumpkin decorating at the Collingswood Fall Festival provided entertainment for everyone there.

The leaves were showing off their fall colors, the sunny day was comfortably chilly, and the sound of children’s laughter filled the air at Knight Park in Collingswood, New Jersey. On Saturday, October 23, the Collingswood Elementary PTA hosted the annual Collingswood Fall Festival from 12:00-4:00 pm. This year’s event was extra special to the community because it marked a return to normal after being canceled last year due to COVID restrictions.

Homemade baked goods sold at the Collingswood Fall Festival (Julia Sitnick (’25))

The festival has been a PTA tradition for about 15 years. All of the Collingswood Elementary PTA’s work together to coordinate one big event which is run by family volunteers from the local elementary schools. Each school PTA is responsible for designing and hosting a variety of activities and craft tables at the festival. A lot of time and effort goes into planning the event which is a PTA fundraiser that helps fund the PTA programming for the elementary schools.

Fun games offered at the Collingswood Fall Festival (Julia Sitnick (’25))

“I really like to see all the PTA’s coming together to make this huge event a lot of fun for the entire community,” said Collingswood Elementary PTA president, Kelly Maia.

The festival was ideal for families with young children. There were age appropriate activities to enjoy including a live band that played music during the festival. While admission was free to the public, there were small fees charged ranging from one to five dollars to participate in the various activities and crafts. Kids could sit at long picnic tables to decorate miniature pumpkins with markers and stickers. Younger children enjoyed climbing on hay bales and tossing hay at their friends. There were also several fun carnival games including Plinko, a Shark themed football toss, and a Dum Dum lollipop tree. Volunteers also helped kids to create sand art projects. The hayride in an open wagon pulled by a blue tractor was a big draw to the festival with families lined up to enjoy a scenic, ten minute loop around Knight Park.

A fun hayride that could take you all over the Collingswood Fall Festival (Julia Sitnick (’25))

PTA families provided a variety of tasty homemade and store bought food for sale including hot dogs, pizza, and samples from the festival’s flagship Chilli competition. Festival volunteer, Jodie Farrow said, “the chili contest is also very fun and it’s awesome and everybody volunteers their chili” in the hopes of winning bragging rights for best chili at the festival as judged by local firefighters. Visitors with a sweet tooth had many tempting choices to purchase at the huge bake sale. Sweet treats included something for everyone such as brownies, cookies, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, caramel apples, and even gluten free options. Coffee, hot cocoa, and cold apple cider were also available to purchase.

Unique treats sold at Collingswood Fall Festival (Julia Sitnick (’25))

The festival was a fun fall family outing and there were many dogs there who also seemed to enjoy a day at the park. Community support for the festival made all of the planning worthwhile.

“I think it’s great, it’s uniting all the elementary schools in one spot to do a fundraiser rather than being an individual school fundraiser. We can also help out other schools besides just our own,” said festival volunteer, Liz Young.