Close to 50 vendors are signed up for the Cave Spring Fall Festival, set for Rolater Park on Saturday.

“It’s one of the largest vendor turnouts we’ve ever had,” said Kyle Abernathy, principal at Cave Spring Elementary. “And we’re going to do some barbecue, hot dogs, games ... inflatables for the kids.”

Admission is free to the annual school fundraiser, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the downtown park at 13 Cedartown St.

“A lot of our arts and crafts vendors are Heritage Arts people,” Abernathy added. “We’ll have people who do paintings, pottery — folks who build things that are unique.”

The nonprofit folk arts school Alton Holman Heritage Arts is based in Cave Spring. Among its many specialties are pine needle basketry, bead-making, felting, Pysanky — which is Ukrainian egg batik — quilting, weaving and woodcarving.

A costume contest for kids is set for 2:30 p.m. Abernathy said there’s a competition for pre-K through second grade and another for grades 3 through 5.

Carnival-type games will also be set up from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are 25 cents for one or five for $1.

“We have some great ones,” Abernathy said with a laugh, pulling up the list. “Football toss, elephant march, bean bag toss, nose picker, cornhole and Coke toss.”

Pony rides, hay rides and pumpkin-painting also will be available along with fair-food staples such as roasted corn, funnel cakes and fried Oreos.

While the event is an annual labor of love for the Cave Spring Elementary PTO, Abernathy just came on board this year and is looking forward to his first festival. He said the money raised will go to benefit the school’s students and teachers.

“I haven’t seen a school festival this big,” he said. “I think it’s because Cave Spring is such a destination community.”

Rolater Park is home to the city’s iconic limestone cave, which provides drinking water for residents and customers in eastern Alabama. Visitors are welcome to fill up jugs from the stream, and the cave is open for tours, at $1 a pop, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Across the street is the city’s historic downtown district, with antique shops and other draws that bring tourists from around the region.

Earlier this month an old red caboose was moved to The Square with plans to restore it to tell the tale of the city’s railroad days. It’s next to the 1830s Vann Cherokee Cabin, which was discovered hidden inside the walls of the old Green Hotel in 2010.

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