Calloway’s Nursery is hosting its 10th annual Fall Festival at each of its 17 locations this weekend to celebrate the seasonal transition and give thanks back to its communities.
The community-wide, family-friendly event takes place Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at each Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston location.
“[The event] is a really great way to say thank you,” said Kimberley Gotcher, the marketing coordinator at Calloway’s Nursery. “We are a local company and these people have supported us for almost 28 years. It’s a way for us to get to say, ‘Now it’s our turn to support you as our community.’”
Gotcher said the free event will offer many fun activities for its guests. Kids can enjoy many festive and educational activities, including pumpkin carving, decorating and planting their own produce with the new egg carton garden.
“Kids will get biodegradable egg cartons, plant lettuce seeds and take it home to grow their own lettuce,” Gotcher said. “It’s a way to introduce kids to gardening in a really fun, very successful way.”
She said the layout of the festival allows adults to explore the produce and garden series and provides families the opportunity to take pictures.
Wendy Vanderbeck, the store manager of Calloway’s Nursery on Hulen Street, said the event also makes a great impact on her store’s business.
“It gives us exposure,” Vanderbeck said. “People will shop on the days they are here, but [the event] brings them back to see all the merchandise we have for the season. We offer specialty pumpkins you can’t find anywhere else, especially in the quantities that we bring them in.”
Gotcher said she is expecting 20,000 people to attend the Fall Festival across the different Calloway’s Nursery locations.
“We joke around here that everybody and their dog come to this event,” Vanderbeck said.
Gotcher said the event helps to strengthen the employer-customer relationship at each location, by allowing employees to engage with the community on a different level.
“The employees make relationships with the customers,” Gotcher said. “It is a way for these employees to connect with the families and have fun with them.”
Gotcher said the event offers the community a chance to reconnect with Fall Festival traditions.
“You read about that in your history books, the celebration of the harvest,” Gotcher said. “We get to do that here in 2015. It is a really great way to get back to the basics and enjoy something really wholesome and old school.”

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Claire Girman is a journalism major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She's fueled by college sports rage, literature and French press coffee.