HUNTSVILLE — The 4th annual Fall on the Mall event will be held as scheduled — October 24, 2020.
That was the decision of the Scott County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, and is noteworthy because most other local events have been canceled.
The 94th annual Scott County Fair has been canceled, and while the Firemen’s Fourth Festival in Huntsville will be held, it will be modified due to coronavirus concerns. Later into the fall, there has been no final word yet on Brimstone’s Paragon event in September, or on Scott High School’s Heritage Festival, scheduled for the same weekend. Brimstone canceled its White Knuckle Event on Memorial Day weekend. The National Park Service has said the Haunting in the Hills storytelling festival in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area will be held, but may be modified.
But plans are for Fall on the Mall to proceed as planned, barring a worsening of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Obviously if the situation gets worse and there is a second wave of cases, we’ll have to take another look at it,” said Stacey Swann, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
The event will also be subject to social distancing guidelines that are in place by executive orders of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee — whatever those events might be by the time October rolls around.
Fall on the Mall is a harvest- and Halloween-themed festival that is family-friendly with a special focus on children, held on Huntsville’s historic courthouse mall. Many area businesses and non-profits provide games and activities for kids, and most activities are free. The event also includes a petting zoo, live entertainment by area church youth groups, a costume contest with cash prizes sponsored by Big South Fork Medical Center, a huge trunk-or-treat event, and — weather permitting — a scary movie under the stars to end the day. Parallel to the Fall on the Mall, Scott High School presents The Haunted Jail in the old county jail behind the mall, giving tours of the century-old jail as a fundraiser.
“We’re still going to have games, we’re going to do trunk-or-treat, all of that,” Swann said. “There will be some safety precautions. For example, everyone participating in trunk-or-treat will be asked to place candy in the kids’ bags rather than letting them reach into the bowl, and all candy and treats will have to be packaged.”
Fall on the Mall will be held the Saturday before Halloween, with a rain date of October 31. With Halloween falling on Saturday, October 31 seemed the most logical choice for this year’s event; however, the tourism committee chose to back the event up one week, reserving Halloween only as a last resort if the weather doesn’t cooperate on October 24, in order to avoid conflicting with area churches’ fall festivals and other scheduled events.
Vendor space is available. To reserve a vendor space, or a 30-minute time slot for a church youth group to sing, contact the Chamber of Commerce at (423) 663-6900.