Bear Trap Dunes celebrating fall with families on Saturday

This weekend, Bear Trap Dunes will be hosting its first Fall Festival, inviting the community to enjoy a family-friendly day on the front lawn.

“We’re hoping for it to grow it to a yearly thing,” said Erin Swanson, Bear Trap membership and event sales manager. “After winding down from a very busy summer, we started to brainstorm. The goal is to really give back to the local community that’s in our back yard, that’s in our front lawn.”

The festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday, Oct. 29.

“Fall is our favorite,” said Swanson. “What better way to give back than by channeling that love for fall to our customers? We’re excited!”

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature games, food by The Den at Bear Trap Dunes and the Drift’n Kitchen Food Truck, giveaways and more.

“There’ll be hayrides and face painting that are complimentary for the kids. Pumpkin decorating, cornhole emceed by D.J. Dom, who’s really popular,” said Swanson. “He’s really great — he gets the crowd going.

“We have an adult’s section highlighting the craft beer, but on the flip side of that, we have a cotton-candy machine. There’s certainly something for everyone. It’s really is focused on the family.”

There will be a scarecrow-building contest, for which those who wish to participate must register in advance (the deadline to register was Thursday at 5 p.m.). Bear Trap will be providing the hay and participants must provide their own decorations.

“If they want to do raffia for pigtails, they bring the raffia. If they want to do buttons for eyes, they bring the buttons. My recommendation would be to go to ACTS on Route 26 to buy your outfit, because they’ve got a wide selection. You could put it in a floor-length sequin gown. The possibilities are really endless!”

Swanson said that local businesses have signed up to participate in the contest, with a grand prize of a $500 gift card to Bear Trap Dunes and The Den.

“It should be fun. We should have a nice eclectic mix out there.”

The Great Pie Eating Contest, sponsored by SoDel Concepts, will also take place, beginning at 3 p.m. Participants can preregister up until the day of the event.

Swanson emphasized that the public is welcome to join them at Bear Trap for the fun, fall-themed day.

“All are welcome,” she said. “One of the challenges we have found is a lot of folks think we are a private club because the members are treated as if it were a private club. But the club and the restaurant are absolutely open to everyone. We certainly want to help get the word out that The Den is open year-round — not just to members, but to everyone.

“We have the beautiful Dunes Room — brides can host their weddings here. It’s not just for members to throw their parties here. The golf course is open to anyone. Anyone can be a member. So this event also helps us spread the word that we are open to the public.”

Swanson said Bear Trap’s staff are excited to be hosting the event and hope the community will celebrate the fall season with them this weekend.

“We couldn’t be more excited to host this event,” she said. “We’ve got such a great property here, and such a great staff. We’re really looking forward to it.”