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Mansfield ISD Hosts Fall Festival

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Photo by Bryanna Owens
Mansfield ISD hosts their third annual Fall Festival.

Mansfield ISD’s Center for the Performing Arts hosted its third annual WonderFALL Festival Oct. 21 celebrating the beginning of Autumn. 

“The original purpose when we did the WonderFALL Festival was when we were coming out of COVID, and we wanted to make sure that we provided an opportunity for everybody to get out of their houses and get back into the community,” Dr. Kimberley Cantu, Superintendent of Schools for Mansfield ISD, said. “I think it still serves that same purpose. It’s not easy for everybody to come together in one location and just be in fellowship as a school community.”

PTA groups, elementary schools, the fire department, the police department, the Center’s staff, and anyone in Mansfield ISD who wanted to help prepare for the festival or participate in it could. Melissa Iverson, Coordinator of Events for the Center, and other staff members at the Center for the Performing Arts organize all of the events the Center hosts, like Toys for Tots and graduation.

It’s not easy for everybody to come together in one location and just be in fellowship as a school community.”

— Dr. Kimberley Cantu

“We have a space kind of midyear where we all come together and at the end of the year graduations where we come together as families, but we didn’t have something towards the beginning,” Ms. Iverson said. “We looked and there weren’t that many fall festivals happening even though we’re in a giant metroplex, so it just seemed like a really good fit.”

Dance Director at McKinzey Middle School and Legacy High School, Jessica McPherson, helped organize the fairy garden. All of the dance directors in MISD, from elementary to high school, started prepping in August. The directors created separate fairy-themed dance pieces with their students and combined them all for the WonderFALL Festival.

“I think [the festival] brings everybody together,” Ms. McPherson said. “It is always so fun to see all the different schools from elementary up to high school performing and coming together as one big community. Mansfield’s big, but it gives it that small-town feel.”

The Scarecrow Parade and fairy garden could be considered the main focuses of the WonderFALL Festival, but they’re are a lot more activities, performances, and art that the community can experience. Every year, the fire department and police department show off their vehicles, allowing students and parents to observe the fire truck’s crane and the police department’s PA system. Students and parents also have the option to stop by the Trunk-or-Treat section to collect candy, the Petting Zoo section to pet goats, ponies, bunnies, and more, and the Train section to ride around the parking lot on the train. There were also sections dedicated to Armadillo races, a Pumpkin Eating Dragon, bounce houses, carnival games, face painting, and food trucks. 

“It’s always fun to see the new ideas we have and the ways we grow and change [the festival] to sort of adjust to what we know our families like and what they tell us they’re excited about,” Ms. Iverson said. “Seems like our families enjoy it and we’re excited to keep growing it.”

So far, the WonderFALL Festival has the same highlighted activities like the parade, garden, and more because the community enjoys them, but the student performances typically change. The Center’s stage was used for the performances showcasing different student choirs and dance teams from different MISD schools that wanted to perform. Inside the Center featured Fine Arts student exhibit, the fairy garden, and school vendor booths that allowed community members to see what the students could do.

“[The festival] just keeps getting better and better, and more and more people come,” Dr. Cantu said. “It’s just important for us as a school district to have things like this that the entire community can come out and enjoy, then enables them to see all the wonderful things and opportunities our kids have in Mansfield ISD.”

About the Contributor
Bryanna Owens
Bryanna Owens, Staff Writer
Little excites me before 9 am.
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