Shelby Iron Works Fall Festival set for Oct. 12

By JENNIFER MAIER / Special to the Reporter

Although record high temperatures have been lingering with us all too long, you can be assured that one aspect of fall with be here soon.

The Shelby Iron Works Park’s Annual Fall Festival will be Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking and admission are free.

For about 30 years the festival has drawn large crowds of people to the park, located in Shelby.

Vendors selling all kinds of crafts, antiques and collectibles will be on hand.

Hamburgers and hotdogs will be for sale in the dining hall.

What makes this festival so special are the old-time traditions that are still going on today.

Visitors will get to see how sorghum syrup is made, from the time the cane is squeezed, cooked into syrup and then bottled on site.

Also popular are the blacksmith demonstrations, with Jerry Green and other fellow blacksmiths showing their skills to the many onlookers.

And you won’t want to miss the 150-year-old antique saw mill as it cuts huge slabs of lumber.

The Country Store will be selling goodies and gifts, and the park museum will be open for visits.

Back by popular demand this year will be the Ain’t Misbehavin’ Dance Band playing tunes from the Big Band era.

Tractors, both old and new, will be exhibited, along with some antique automobiles.

Sponsors for this year’s event are America’s First Federal Credit Union, Columbiana Tractor and State Representative Corley Ellis.

The Shelby Iron Works Park has a rich industrial history, and was home to what was the largest charcoal blast furnace in Alabama. It was established in 1846 by Horace Ware.

The Fall Festival provides an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the coal industry, which was instrumental in the development of Shelby County.

The Fall Festival is one of three festivals hosted by the park.

There is a Spring Car show that is the last Saturday in April.

Christmas in the Park will be on Dec. 6, and on Dec. 7, the park will be featured on the Columbiana Tour of Homes.

The Shelby Iron Works Park is well-known for its monthly pancake breakfasts held on the first Saturday of each month.

The Shelby Iron Works Park is located at 10268 County Road 42, Shelby, AL 35143.

Questions regarding the Fall Festival can be sent to Park Director Jennifer Maier at schs1854@bellsouth.net.