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Camp Lee opens up for a fall festival

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Camp Lee Splash

A camp visitor enjoys a zipline splash into a lake at Camp Lee’s first-ever Fall Festival Saturday. 

Camp Lee, the Methodist-operated church camp east of Anniston, hosted fun in the rain with a fall festival Saturday. Against the backdrop of a lake and woodlands, the visiting public enjoyed activities, vendors, live music, and food. 

Five-dollar wristbands allowed entry into the festival while the $20 gold wristbands gave entry and access to all the special attractions as many times as a visitor might choose to enjoy them — including water ziplining, inflatable slides, the bungee run, canoes, face-painting, and a dunk tank. 

The day’s drizzle didn’t seem to prevent anyone from enjoying wet hayrides, slick slides, and blueberry flavored icees that created sticky faces. 

Ryan Gibbens, interim director of the camp, greeted guests at the entrance.

“We’ve been trying to do more events here. Our last one was ‘Light up the sky on Fourth of July’,” Gibbens said.

Noting that this was the camp’s first fall-type event, Gibbens said it had also been the site of a 5K run that was a “smash hit” and a polar bear plunge before that. 

“Basically we zip into the lake, we have some food, and we will have that again New Year Day,” Gibbens said. 

Gibbens said in an effort to help the community, the camp didn’t charge fees of any of the vendors at the event. He said the camp wanted to focus on bringing the community together, as well as showcasing its facilities and what it can offer as a venue.

The Humane Society of Etowah County was at the festival showing off several of its foster and adoptable pets. With nine dogs and around nine or 10 cats up for adoption, there was a certain cuteness overload.

Daniel Anderson was there walking on of the adoptable dogs named Crawly.

“Crawly needs a home,” said Anderson. “He’s a wonderful dog!”

CAST Kids theater troupe was posted just across the row from the Humane Society with crafts and handmade gifts — such as handmade Christmas ornaments and ornamental mugs — being sold as a fundraiser.