Fall festival draws crowd to Governor’s Mansion

Unique treat delivery systems were in use at the Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday at the Governor's Mansion.  (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
Unique treat delivery systems were in use at the Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday at the Governor's Mansion. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

Trick or treating at the Missouri Governor's Mansion was icky for some children Saturday afternoon.

Not because of Halloween costumes, but because vendors, such as Lincoln University Extension provided live fish and crayfish for children to touch during the sixth annual Parson Family Fall Festival.

Live bluegrass music played in the background as thousands of children trick-or-treated during the event.

Tessa Rademan, 7, said it was cool to hold a fish. But she said her hands got cold and she was ready to put on her gloves.

Christian King, with Lincoln University's Aquaculture Facilities, said the university took a giant freshwater crayfish to the event and a touch pond with regular-sized crayfish and bluegill.

The event drew young children from across the region.

First lady Teresa Parson said the governor's family looks forward to this season.

"This is our biggest event on the grounds besides the candlelight tours at Christmastime," Parson said. "So we're always excited. This is a special time of year. People enjoy the fall."

Visitors love the turning leaves and colors that staff members decorate the mansion with, she continued.

Whether they are princesses, firemen or Willy Wonka, she added, children had a ball on the lawn on the mansion.

Vendors cooked fresh kettle corn for them, while some participants "milked" an artificial cow.

Missouri Grown, Missouri State Parks, Runge Nature Center, Magic House St. Louis, MO Hives, and Scholastic provided entertainment and giveaways.

"It's all fun for the kids, and they enjoy it here," Parson said.

She pointed out she had a granddaughter and six great nieces and nephews participating.

Gloria Fordyce of Jefferson City attended the festival with her family.

"We love it here," she said. "We love that the governor puts this on for our community. This is our second time coming here. We know that we can have a good time here."

She said her family enjoys seeing all the costumes and participating in the games, like ring toss.

It's not just trick-or-treating, she said. Scholastic provided books. And healthier-than-candy choices were available, such as the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension's freshly made roasted apples.

Her son, William, 5, didn't have to ponder the question long when asked about his favorite part of the day.

"Candy!" he practically sang.

He explained he got the candy while trick-or-treating at restaurants (during the annual High Street Trick or Treat).

Dressed in matching costumes like "a couple of sassy girls," Misty Roberts of California and her dog, Ginger, strolled through the grounds.

"She's my social butterfly," Roberts said. "We have matching outfits, and it's Halloween, so it's a good day to use them."

  photo  The Governor's Mansion was decorated for the Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  The Governor's Mansion was decorated for the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  The Governor's Mansion was decorated for the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Many people braved the cooler weather to attend the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival at the Governor's Mansion Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Live bluegrass was on display during the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday at the Governor's Mansion. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Kids enjoy the game area Saturday during the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival at the Governor's Mansion. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Many people braved the cooler weather to attend the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival at the Governor's Mansion Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  3-year-old Cayden Nelson and his mom Alyissa check out a display of freshwater shell fish during the Parson Family Fall Festival at the Governor's Mansion Saturday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Lexi McAdams pets a lamb at the LU College of Agriculture display Saturday during the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival at the Governor's Mansion. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Governor Mike Parson welcomes Chase, Kitt, and Ruby Lindley to the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday at the Governor's Mansion. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 
  photo  Kids of all ages dressed up in their Halloween costumes to attend the 6th Annual Parson Family Fall Festival Saturday at the Governor's Mansion. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
 
 

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