Dog Treats and Bath Bombs at FallFest 2023
by James Coulter
For the past six years, Nicole Cochrane has been attending the annual FallFest at Polk State College in Winter Haven. Through her company Laker’s Bakery, she sells her homemade dog treats, which she prepares at her home using all-natural ingredients. She also sells bandanas and other pet accessories.
“We come out to celebrate the holidays,” Nicole said. “It is always a good time. People love the dog treats. I keep coming back because of the people.”
Nicole was one of the countless vendors that participated in this year’s FallFest to sell their arts and crafts, many of which were holiday-inspired. From homemade wreaths and stockings to bath soaps and bombs, attendees could find anything and everything for the Halloween and Christmas season. They could also peruse various food vendors and trucks, play carnival-style games, listen to live musical performances, and even visit a haunted house.
Becky Kerrigan Barber owns and operates Allure Luxury Spa, through which she sells specialty bath bombs and other soaps. As a small business owner, she is always seeking ways to market herself and her products. For the past year, FallFest has allowed her to do just that.
“I am a small business owner trying to get my name out there in the community,” she said. “This is my second time. I came last year and I enjoyed it. It was a good atmosphere. And I was thinking of trying again this year. I had people show up for sales.”
Patty Siamsom-Healy runs The Book Shelter with her family along Dundee Road, where they sell used books. She and her daughter had visited the FallFest before the pandemic. Not only did she consider it a good place to shop, but to also promote her own family business, which has been in operation for less than a year.
“I was out here with my daughter before COVID,” she said. “We thought it was a nice place to shop, to get out into the community and meet some new people and get the word out about the shop. It is great. It is wonderful. It is such a wonderful time to get out and participate with all of the Polk State College folks and people making crafts. It is so wonderful. Everyone is so friendly.”