Fall festival provides fun, community resources to Western Heights, Mechanicsville residents

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Zoo Knoxville’s Bethany Dunn allows Aiden Thornton to touch a lizard from their collection while Savannah Bradley and Ireland Hubbs look on at the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

Zoo Knoxville’s Bethany Dunn allows Aiden Thornton to touch a lizard from their collection while Savannah Bradley and Ireland Hubbs look on at the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

Dozens of residents from the Western Heights and Mechanicsville neighborhoods attended the second annual Fall Community Fair, which provided festive activities for children, as well as connected residents with available community resources.

The fair, held Oct. 13 at the Beaumont Magnet School playground, was organized by Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC), Western Heights Boys & Girls Club and Great Schools Partnership.

Beaumont Magnet School Community Schools Coordinator Jill Akin, KCDC Asset Manager Kristie Toby and Beaumont Magnet School Principal Windy Clayton oversee the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

Beaumont Magnet School Community Schools Coordinator Jill Akin, KCDC Asset Manager Kristie Toby and Beaumont Magnet School Principal Windy Clayton oversee the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

“We wanted to host an event for both the kids and the adults in our community,” said Kristie Toby, KCDC asset manager at Western Heights. “The kids had a blast with our fun festival activities. The adults learned more about resources like Helen Ross McNabb Center and Friends of Literacy that are available in the community and how to access those resources.”

The free festival corresponded with Knox County Schools’ fall break and featured activities for children, including games and prizes, face painting, sports and craft stations. Zoo Knoxville brought several animals from their collection, including a lizard, hedgehog and turtle, for kids to interact with and touch.

Knoxville Police Department’s Jonathan Chadwell show Antwain Boudain, Demarcus Johnson and Beaumont Magnet School teacher Sabrina Johnson a demonstration of the bomb squad robot at the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

Knoxville Police Department’s Jonathan Chadwell show Antwain Boudain, Demarcus Johnson and Beaumont Magnet School teacher Sabrina Johnson a demonstration of the bomb squad robot at the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

The Knoxville Police Department had a K-9 demonstration, and the bomb squad demonstrated its robot. A City of Knoxville firetruck and Rural/Metro ambulance also were on-hand for kids to tour. Popcorn and refreshments were provided.

Zachariah Varner (left) and Jennaleigh Akin (right) play a fall-themed game organized by Endasia Pucket (back left) and Kayla Harris (back right) of the Boys & Girls Clubs Moses Teen Center at the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

Zachariah Varner (left) and Jennaleigh Akin (right) play a fall-themed game organized by Endasia Pucket (back left) and Kayla Harris (back right) of the Boys & Girls Clubs Moses Teen Center at the second annual Western Heights Community Fair at Beaumont Magnet School on Oct. 13.

Volunteers from the Boys & Girls Club Moses Teen Center led fall-themed games and face painting for the children.

While children enjoyed activities, adults were able to access information about health, education and recreation at booths set up by the Imagination Library; Beardsley Community Farm; Foreign Language Academy; Friends of Literacy; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Helen Ross McNabb Center; Knoxville Utilities Board; Knoxville Police Department; and others.

“We have had a wonderful response from the community for this event,” Toby said. “We look forward to continuing to grow the event next year with more activities and participation.”

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, visit https://www.kcdc.org.