--Submitted by Kathy White
Friends volunteers at A.H. Stephens Historic State Park had a very active autumn.
In September, we participated in the Crawfordville Labor Day parade. Our float was well received by all. It gave the full experience of the park, camping, fishing, hiking, outdoor cooking, kayaking, geocaching, bird watching, etc.
In October we experienced "thrill and chills." As the sun was going down, folks loaded onto the wagons to experience the haunts of the Hayride. It was thrilling on the park grounds as a frightful movie played on the big screen and goodie bags were distributed. The campgrounds were in the spirit as many displayed the horror of Halloween as well as young guests wore frightful costumes. Three campsites received bragging rights for a year for their efforts in decorating their individual sites. We were very fortunate to have NERO Atlanta create and assist us with many of our haunts as well as Annie Mclendon, Debra Evans, Miguel Mclendon, Barbara Moon, and Kay Baynes. Friends and park staff are all very appreciative of them, park guests, and the community for their support in making the Second Annual Haunted Hayride a wonderful success.
The funding received from State Friends allowed us to put electricity in the Equestrian Campground. We are happy to say our overnight guests have increased and large groups are reserving the entire campground. We are also seeing equestrians from out of state. It has made positive impact and for that we are thankful.
As December entered we started preparing to decorate the Historic Home of A. H. Stephens. There were two independent tours: one evening by candlelight, and other during the day. We were fortunate to have volunteers, who were dressed in period clothing, describing the various aspects of the home. A special thanks to those who helped with these two events.
We are near completion of the Equestrian Barn which was made possible with this years Friend's Chapter in Action Funding. Calls are already coming in wanting to know when it will be completed. This facility will bring more Equestrian Campers.
We are so proud of all the work we have been able to accomplish along with the help and support of site staff and the entire community. We look forward to your visits! Happy Trails!