2020 did the one thing that nobody thought was possible: get the Montross Fall Festival cancelled that year, something that not even the rains of 2017 doing their best to turn Route 3 into a river could do. Fortunately, now that more is known about the virus and vaccines have become widespread, the Fall Festival is all set and ready to kick off this upcoming Saturday. Every Fall Festival carries a theme of some kind, and this year, it was set up to be one grand pat on the back to our frontline workers, whatever their profession may be.

While the main event is on Saturday, plenty more is afoot in the days before. Thursday will see the return of Family Skate Night over at Stan’s Skateland, while the next day marks the Little Mr. & Mrs. Fall Festival pageant at Washington & Lee High School’s cafetorium.

Saturday, October 2nd, however, remains the day of battle, with the opening ceremonies taking place at 10 in the morning. From that time until 2, there will be an all manner of activities taking place, from a sidewalk chalk art contest at the art of coffee to a car show at the C&F Bank. Over at the old courthouse, there will be a look back at the various businesses that have set up shop in Montross, particularly the Coca-Cola plant. New to the whole thing is the oyster shucking contest, which takes place at 12:30 in the food court.

The main event as always, however, is the parade, which starts at 2. The grand marshals this year are from all the various businesses that stayed open, helping us keep some measure of sanity in this world gone mad. Each business that responded is set to have at least one representative there.

The Montross Fall Festival Committee summed it up perfectly in a letter they sent to the county offices and local businesses, stating “The Town of Montross wants to thank your employees for being up front and outstanding during this past COVID year. Truly, workers such as yours helped the county, and all the folks in it, survive a most difficult time.

“We ask that you designate a representative to ride on the Grand Marshal float that the Town will provide and decorate. We hope you will allow us to honor your employees on our town’s Fall Festival day. We plan to identify each participating organization in the float.”

If the massive turnouts for the truncated First Fridays, the last of which was in September this year, the people of Montross are more than ready to come out and smell the roses.