While many businesses have struggled this year because of COVID-19-related shutdowns, one local company has done well — and now it wants to share some of that good fortune with a community Fall Festival Friday and Saturday.
Tammy Inman and her sons, Taylor, Jordon, and Hunter, will be hosting the event at their Oak Crest Cottage farm on Cain Road, off N.C. 89 in the Woodville area.
Inman opened the business 20 years ago, which features a vacation home nestled on 34 acres of rolling land, complete with pond and pool for guests staying at the house. While the home is primarily used as a venue for weddings, birthday parties and family reunions, she said this year many people have rented it for a week at a time in lieu of vacations cancelled by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“I’ve been super busy because of COVID, people couldn’t go to pools and other places, they couldn’t get in public places, but this is more of a private place, they could come here, bring their family, and have a vacation,” she said.
Prior to his year, Inman said most of her rentals were Friday through Sundays.
“This year I had people renting it Monday through Friday. I think it’s because they couldn’t take vacations anywhere else.”
Because of the business’ good fortune, she and her sons decided to hold a fall festival, with all proceeds from the event going to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“That is in memory of my father,” she said. “He passed away 10 years ago with this horrible disease.”
She said another bonus for donating to the foundation is that as part of a national fundraising effort, the association has secured matching money for all donations made in October, up to $100,000. All money raised at the fall festival will, in essence, be doubled, she said.
While she has been in business at Oak Crest for two decades, she said this is the first community fall festival she and her sons have put on. Based on a T-shirt design for the event calling it the “1st annual” festival, the family could be looking at this as the inaugural celebration.
”Because of COVID, we wanted to give everyone something to do and somewhere to go,” she said.
A host of activities and games are planned, including hay rides, bonfires, pumpkin decorating, corn hole, the telling of ghost stories, a balloon launch, and what she says is always the most popular activity there — axe throwing.
”Everything will be outdoors,” she said of those worried about close-quarters and social distancing. Concessions, to include hot dogs, s’mores kits, and drinks, will be prepared inside, but served outdoors.
Admission to the festival is $5 and all concessions will be $1, Inman said.
No coolers are allowed, and there will be COVID-19-related restrictions, including required face coverings, temperature checks on everyone before entering the grounds, and social distancing in lines and on rides. She said there will be hand-washing stations set up and all equipment will be sanitized between uses.
“We want to thank some local organizations who are helping us,” Inman added, listing the Bannertown Fire Department, PK Productions, along with Freedom Designs and Marketing.