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Henry County folks celebrate fall with festivals
by Christine Fonville
October 18, 2013 08:25 AM | 3975 views | 0 0 comments | 194 194 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye /
Main Street Program Manager Kira Harris-Braggs looks over the Welcome Center fall decorations and displays information about upcoming fall festivites in McDonough.
Staff / Katherine Frye / Main Street Program Manager Kira Harris-Braggs looks over the Welcome Center fall decorations and displays information about upcoming fall festivites in McDonough.
Fall is the time for festivals in Henry County and residents can enjoy a medley of food, crafts and fun at the Goblin Gallop and McDonough Fall Festival Saturday followed by the Great Pumpkin Haunted Festival and Chili Cook-off in Hampton and the McDonough City Cemetery Tours Oct. 26 and Oct. 27.

The Halloween-themed fun will begin with the 10th annual Goblin Gallop beginning at 9 a.m. at the Lakefront Park in the Heron Bay Golf and Country Club of Hampton.

The event, which features a 5K run, 10K run, one-mile walk and tot trot, benefits the county’s Hands of Hope, a clinic providing medical and dental treatment for residents living in poverty with no health insurance.

“We’ve raised about $30,000 each year we’ve held this popular event,” said event spokeswoman Debbie Withers.

Registration for the race begins at 7:45 a.m. and prices are $20 per runner for the one-mile race, $25 for the 5K and $30 for the $10K.

“Participants are encouraged to get creative and wear costumes to the race,” said Executive Director of the Hands of Hope Clinic Ruth Rucker also said prizes would be awarded to the best costumes.

Prizes will also be awarded for a variety of contests at the McDonough and Hampton Festivals.

Both festivals include a chili cook-off competition where residents are encouraged to either have their best recipes judged or taste test the entrées.

New to the McDonough festival this year are the scarecrows lining the downtown square.

“The scarecrow contest has been wildly popular and we’re excited to announce the winners during the festival,” said Main Street Program Manager Kira Harris-Braggs.

Unique to the Hampton festival is the first year of the zombie scholarship contest, which Coordinator Tracy Hill said is “unlike any other scholarship offered.”

“It’s designed for students with a 2.5 grade point average who may not otherwise qualify for scholarships but are interested in pursuing a degree, perhaps at a vocational school,” she said.

The top prize for the scarecrow contest will be $500 while the best zombie student will be awarded $1,000.

Residents can keep the festivities going at the third annual Spirits of McDonough City Cemetery Tour Oct. 26 and 27.

Visitors will take a guided stroll through the historic grounds and hear stories by local residents portraying the “spirits” of those buried in the cemetery.

The actors dress in period clothing and share tales from the Civil War era through the early 1990s.

Tickets for adults are $10 with $5 tickets for children.

Participant Audrey Robinson said the event is “a historical and fun trip down memory lane for many locals.”

Information: Goblin Gallop,; McDonough festival,; Hampton festival,; cemetery tour,

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