Given their attention to detail, it was little surprise what activities both girls had enjoyed the most at Neewollah on Noble in Anniston Saturday.
"Painting," each said in quick succession with smiles on their faces.
Sydney, 5 and Claire, 6, of Oxford were two of hundreds who attended the fall festival Neewollah on Noble, organized by the downtown promotion group Spirit of Anniston. The event, the first of its kind in Anniston, covered several blocks on Noble Street.
Along with pumpkin decorating, the event featured live musical performances, food and retail vendors, various games, bouncy rides, arts and crafts and horse and buggy rides. There were also martial arts and yoga demonstrations, along with children and pet costume contests. The Anniston Fire and Police Departments were also on hand to show the public several of their armored and rescue vehicles. Except for the food and items for sale, many of the games and events were free.
Nichole Miller, Sydney's mother, said she was impressed with the size and scope of the festival.
"It's fantastic and the kids love it," she said.
Nicole's husband, Roger, was also impressed by the event.
"It's a different setup, there are no tickets to buy and most things are free," he said. "And the crowds here are big,"
While the festival was a way to offer fun, family-oriented entertainment for residents, it also was a way to encourage more foot traffic to Anniston downtown businesses.
Ashley Martin, who with Abby Bass co-owns Growing Trends Children's and Maternity Consignment on 10th Street near Noble Street, said the festival helped her business Saturday better than she had expected.
"It's been wonderful, we've been very pleased," Martin said soon after making a sale. "We were excited and very hopeful ... but this beats our expectations."
To help attract visitors to their business, Martin and Bass had a small arts and crafts booth for children set up on Noble Street. By Saturday afternoon, the booth was packed with children painting pictures.
"It's been a big hit," Martin said of the booth.
Meanwhile Tessa Hayes of Anniston sat on a Noble Street curb with her daughter, Adleigh Hayes, 3 and step-daughter Keleigh Bick, 4, eating barbeque. Though the family had been at the festival for almost two hours, the kids had yet to do many activities, Hayes said.
"They mainly have just done the bouncy houses," Hayes said with a laugh.
Hayes said she had enjoyed the festival so far.
"It's something good to get you out of the house on Saturday," she said.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.