Witches, ghosts, dinosaurs, spiders and other spooky creatures of Halloween descended on the Anniston Museum complex for the fourth Annual Fall Fest Saturday afternoon.
Hundreds of visitors enjoyed merriment, hayrides, crafts, food, live animals and especially the fall-like temperatures that finally arrived to the delight of the attendees.
Dan Spaulding, senior curator at the Anniston Museum of Natural History, was busy ferrying folks to the festival in a van and was overjoyed at the change in temperature.
“It’s incredible, this is wonderful. What a perfect day. It’s overcast but no rain, cool fall temperatures for the Fall Fest,” Spaulding said.
“I thought we were in the Sahara desert for awhile but now it feels like fall… it’s a fall fest, it’s not a summer fest,” Spaulding said as he sped off in the van to fetch more costumed visitors.
Nathan Owen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Calera, said the fall temperatures are courtesy of a cold front.
Owen said the high temperature for Anniston on Saturday would probably reach about 68 degrees and the low Sunday morning will be about 55 degrees.
Owen said areas of rain were lingering south of Anniston on Saturday but on Sunday the cold front will move over the Interstate 20 corridor.
What was nice weather for the festival attendees on Saturday could mean rain for the thousands gathered at the Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's 1000Bulbs.com 500.
Owen said there is a 50-60 percent chance of rain for the Talladega and Anniston areas Sunday afternoon decreasing to 40 percent by nightfall. On Monday the rain will be south of Anniston, he said.
Calhoun and Talladega counties remain in moderate drought according to the U.S. drought monitor.
“This rain will help but not be enough in itself to fully get these areas out of drought,” Owen said, adding that last week portions of Jefferson and Blount counties received 4 inches of rain which removed those areas from being classified as drought stricken.
Anniston City Councilman David Reddick and a friend were touring the festival, enjoying the seasonal sights and the cooler temperatures.
“It’s good gloomy, it’s cloud cover so you're alright with being outside. It’s threatening rain but not quite raining. It’s like the weather is playing with the vibe of the whole festival, the whole Halloween vibe,” said Reddick.
Jodi Burke and her two daughters from Anniston toured the Anniston Museum’s exhibit halls with LED flashlights as part of the event.
“It’s great. I’m glad that it’s earlier this year. It was getting a little dark on us last year on the hayride, so we’re enjoying the early afternoon,” Burke said.
Burke was also relieved that the summer-like temperatures were gone.
“It’s amazing. So glad it’s not 97 degrees anymore. It’s really good to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” Burke said.