Orion Fall Festival funds grants

Mindy Carls
The Orion Community Band performs in the Orion Fall Festival parade in 2019. The festival is more than three days of fun. It raises funds for individuals and community organizations in the Orion school district.

Orion Fall Festival is not just three days of fun during Labor Day weekend. The festival has its roots in a one-day benefit for a blind man and continues to provide funds for individuals and community organizations.

The 49th festival will be Friday, Sept. 3, through Sunday, Sept. 5.

For 2020-21, ending June 30, the festival awarded grants totaling $16,584.79. Individuals having trouble paying medical bills received $10,477.54 and community organizations $6,107.25 from the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Held since 1972, the festival has disbursed about $850,000 to individuals and organizations in the Orion school district, which includes Orion, Osco, Andover and Lynn Center and surrounding areas.

Grants to individuals are private and not disclosed. Community groups and activities receiving funds included Boy Scout Troop 123, Orion schools, Orion High School bands, the Bill Dahl Memorial Easter Egg Hunt, Orion Area Food Pantry’s holiday baskets, Main Street Orion activities including Saturday with Santa, and Orion After Prom Committee.

Some of the 2020-21 funds went to individuals affected by COVID-19 and to the Orion school district for PPE and supplies.

This year’s festival begins at 5 p.m. Sept. 3 in Orion’s historic Central Park and ends at 6 p.m. Sept. 5. Weekend activities include a food tent, pork chop dinner, arts and crafts show, pie auction, children’s activities, carnival, parade, antique tractor show, car show, Miss Main Street Orion pageant and free entertainment.

Admission to all events is free.

For more information, including a schedule, visit the Orion Fall Festival page on Facebook.