Two days of fun this year, plus several new events before fest

Organizers gear up for IL Fall Festival

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Chris McGinn - Carolina Gateway
Organizers gear up for IL Fall Festival

CAROLINA GATEWAY — The best week of fall will be Oct. 26-Nov. 4 when the 13th annual Indian Land Fall Festival takes place. Festival chairman Michael Neese previewed this year’s event at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Morning Business Connection on Aug. 3.

Including the weekend festival Nov. 3-4, festival organizers are planning 10 days of events beginning Oct. 26. Other happenings include several evening social events, a golf tournament, a shooting clay event and cornhole tournament. A day of fun at Andrew Jackson State Park including fishing demos for children by a professional fisherman is also in the works.

The main festival weekend will be at the Indian Land schools complex, featuring three music stages, business vendors, a car show, food trucks, rides and fun for all ages. An estimated 18,000 people attended last year’s one-day festival, so Neese said this year’s event could be much larger.

“Our theme is that it’s about the journey, not the destination,” Neese said. He emphasized that the festival’s success is largely dependent on the weather, but by extending the event to 10 days, it can have a larger positive impact on the community.

“The Indian Land Fall Festival is a community event which showcases Indian Land and Lancaster County – its people, civic organizations, churches, schools and businesses,” Neese said.

More than 50 local businesses attended the morning networking event to hear more about how to get involved in the volunteer-led event.

Robin Hensel, festival co-organizer, said the event needs hundreds of volunteers in more than two dozen service areas. Help is needed to manage events, provide social media and marketing assistance, provide shuttles, help with parking, sell armbands and tickets, and more. Anyone 12 years of age or older can sign up to assist before or during the event.

“We will work to get you involved in a way that you find both meaningful and enjoyable,” Hensel said.

Lancaster County Council awarded the festival a grant of $40,000 from its hotel accommodations tax. The money will be used to invest in infrastructure, such as a project at the Indian Land schools complex to repair erosion and add landscaping to the training field. That project got under way Aug. 3. Other funds will be used to market the festival to bring in more area and regional visitors.

More than 200 business vendors participated in last year’s event, Neese said. This year’s event has traditional vendor booth options, as well as special event sponsorship opportunities, he said.

Major sponsors include Comporium and Active Waste, as well as Lowe’s, Sharonview Federal Credit Union, Promerix, Lancaster Motor Co., Yard Works, Indian Land Animal Hospital and Carolina Gateway, Neese said.

Festival organizers are seeking craft and business vendors, as well as food vendors and food trucks.

For a 10-foot-by-10-foot booth space, rental fees are $35 for nonprofit organizations and arts and crafts vendors; $75 for home-based businesses (under $25,000 annual income); $150 for business vendors; and $350 for food vendors. Applications for booths are available online at

An official kickoff event is planned for Sept. 8 at The Ivy Place in conjunction with the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership drive.