State park offers second annual event Saturday

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Pumpkin carving returns among family activities Saturday at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. The Second Annual October Outdoors at the Bend fall festival runs from 2 to 8 p.m.

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
sarah@newnan.com
Coweta’s Chattahoochee Bend State Park will be a beehive of activity this weekend for the Second Annual October Outdoors at the Bend.
The fall festival event will be held Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m.
There will be a wide variety of activities, from pumpkin-carving contests and hayrides to canoe lessons, fishing demonstrations, guided photo hikes, the Winged Ambassadors birds of prey show and snakes from Cochran Mill Nature Center, live music, and presentations on the history and botany of the park property.
“This is a wonderful event for families and children, and adults as well. And we hope everybody will come out and it will be a beautiful day,” said Pam Giles, events chairwoman for the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park, which hosts the event.
“People can enjoy the fall weather and enjoy our new park.”

The inaugural event was held last year. It was a great success and the friends group is hoping to build on that.

There are more activities this year, as well as more food. Food includes hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as chili and cornbread and candied apples. Bonfires will be built around 6:30 for s’mores, Giles said. There will also be a cake walk, and cake donations are needed.

Park naturalist John Hubbard will be leading photography hikes at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30. The 2:30 and 6:30 hikes leave from the boat ramp; the 4:30 hike leaves from the visitor’s center. Hikers and others can email their pictures taken the day of the festival to friendsofchattahoocheebend.photos@picasaweb.com by Oct. 20.

Selected photographs will be made available for purchase at the park visitor’s center, with full credit to the photographer, and the best pictures may be assembled into a single publication, “A Day in the Life of Chattahoochee Bend State Park.”

There will be informational tables set up on hiking trails, as well as the proposed mountain bike and equestrian trails — complete with a horse to pet. There will also be information on geocaching.

There will be arts and crafts vendors, plenty of free games, and performances by The Final Answer Band.

A $5 parking fee is required for entry to the park. Members of the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend receive annual park passes good for parking at all Georgia State Parks. You can sign up as a friend online at friendsofgeorgiastateparks.org or get information at October Outdoors.

“We’ve gotten to this point by a lot of work by volunteers, and certainly a lot of work by the Department of Natural Rescues and Coweta County,” Giles said. “The county has done a lot of things to make this all happen as well.”

The Friends organization recently bought several “Nu Canoes” for the park, and Dick’s Sporting Goods donated several standard canoes. Right now, the boats are being used for cleanups but aren’t yet being offered for rentals.

Proceeds from October Outdoors will be used to purchase shade trees to be planted at the park’s campgrounds.

For more information, visit www.bendfriend.com , www.georgiastateparks.org/chattahoocheebend or call 770-254-7271.



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