Thursday in the park with Stella


PENDLETON — Hundreds of people attended ParkFest 2023 at Barnhart Field in Falls Park, where the band Stella Luna performed the third annual benefit concert for the park.
Prior to the concert, there were several activities for
concertgoers, including a Chalk the Walk sidewalk art contest and a Bring Your Own Picnic (BYOP) decorating contest, as well as a family area with games, face-painting and more.
The evening featured acknowledgments to the late Jimmy Buffett, from the music playlist that included Margaritaville, to the decorating contest, where second-place winners Cal and Jody Wilson decorated their sitting area with tropical decor.
“It’s a tribute,” said Jody Wilson, who wore an inflatable bird in her hat band, marking herself as a Parrot Head, as Buffett fans are known.
Other BYOP winners included Jenny Sisson, who won first place with her table setting of Royal Albert Old Country Roses china, and the family of Amanda Carpenter, who had a fiesta-themed set-up, which she said celebrated her family’s blended heritage.
Other decorated areas celebrated the Pittsburgh Steelers; colorfulness, including the use of glow sticks, bright accessories and balloons; and the living room, or bringing the indoors out, complete with rug, coffee table and throw pillows.
Marissa Millikan won the Chalk the Walk contest — and a $100 prize — with her chalk drawing of a bird (not a parrot) on a branch.
Millikan, a Ball State student studying art education, said she also won the competition last year when she was a senior at Pendleton Heights.
Other chalk drawings included dragons, witches, a one-eyed monster and a hole in the sidewalk opening to outer-space, with planets and galaxies in the distance.
Final proceeds from ParkFest had not been tallied as of press time, but organizer Lisa Floyd said with adult attendance “slightly down,” but expenses also down and sponsorships up, the total raised for the park should be higher than last year.
In 2022, ParkFest raised “just over $11,000,” Floyd said.
Funds are being raised to build an amphitheater in the park.

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