Grove Roots Celebrates 2nd Annual Fall Fest
by James Coulter
Fall is in the air. The weather is getting cooler. And Halloween is right around the corner. What better way to help usher in the autumn season than with good friends and beer at Winter Haven’s unofficial backyard?
Grove Roots helped celebrate the start of fall and the coming of Halloween with pumpkins, treats, and live music during its second annual Fall Fest on Saturday evening.
Several dozen pumpkins lined the lawn outside, allowing guests an opportunity to pick their own and decorate it with the help of the Ridge Art Association. Inside, attendees could peruse merchandise, ranging from homemade jams to gourmet goodies, from local vendors.
All the while, anyone wanting a bite to eat could choose from three different food trucks, while those of drinking age could wash down their food with specialty craft beers as always provided by the local downtown brewery, with it debuting three new beers that evening.
This year’s event expanded immensely from last year, with double the pumpkins, two additional food trucks, and three extra indoor vendors. The turnout itself was also much larger with many new faces appearing, explained Morgan Wilson, Marketing Director for Grove Roots.
“We had an awesome turnout,” she said. “We are just trying to usher in the holiday season with friends and family…It has exceeded our expectations…I think everyone is excited about the space we have to offer. It is a friendly, welcoming environment.”
Gourmet Goodies, a local downtown bakery, was one of the many vendors present at the event. Their booth showcased many of their specialty baked goods including Halloween themed cake pops, cookies, and mini pies.
Carissa Hughes, the Owner, always attends the holiday events hosted at Grove Roots, using it not only as an opportunity to share her wares, but also to participate within the community during such a great family-friendly event.
“I love the diversity of the people,” she said. “Everyone is here with families. We love seeing people bring out their dogs and kids…It is a great opportunity for people to come out here and enjoy Winter Haven’s backyard. It is an incredible turnout with great people and friends. We love being here.”
Also attending that evening was Derek Williams, Owner of Jovita Treats. His business sells homemade gourmet jams created from hand-picked native fruit, with special flavors such as Ghost Apple and Vanilla Blueberry.
Williams has attended and won many competitions, including such events at the Strawberry Festival and the Pasco County Fair. He has been attending the monthly Wednesday Night Markets in Grove Roots.
“So we love coming out here with the ownership,” he said. “We are an hour away, but we love the people, we love coming out. Anytime we come to Winter Haven, we come out here.”