It did not matter if there was rain or sunshine, nothing was going to get in the way of the first annual Chandler Fest this past weekend. The fest was held on Saturday, Oct. 1 outside the Chandler United Methodist Church by 4 A Better Chandler, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to installing an inclusive and accessible playground for children at the Chandler Town Park.

The fest was a combination of two events 4 A Better Chandler, Inc. held last year — a music in the park night and a free movie night.

Wendy Wary, 4 A Better Chandler, Inc. president, said she and the other board members decided to group both events together so they could attract more people to one big event.

The event was supposed to last from 5:30 to 10 p.m. but Wary said when it started to rain again around 6:30 p.m., they decided to cut the fest short for everyone’s safety and to not show the outdoor movie, “The Sandlot.”

“We still had a good hour and a half though,” she said. “Everyone we talked to seemed to be having a good time.”

She said the kids especially were having a good time getting their faces painted and playing with sidewalk chalk.

In total, there were 14 vendors at the fest, selling hot dogs, chili dogs, hamburgers, pork burgers, nachos, popcorn, candy and S’mores for people to eat, while others were giving people glitter tattoos and henna body art.

Musician Ryan Rigdon also played a set and both the Chandler Volunteer Fire Department and the Warrick EMS brought their vehicles and equipment for the children to play with.

“At one point, I looked over and a firefighter had all his gear on and was showing a kid,” Wary said. “He was loving it.”

Wary said her favorite part of the event is spending the evening with the community members who decided to brave the rain.

“It’s just really nice to get together with other people in the community,” she said. “We’re not a big community but it’s nice to see everyone together.”

When asked if there would be another Chandler Fest in the future, Wary said yes.

“As several vendors were packing up in the rain, they told me they would be back next year,” she said. “We’ll be back.”

If you missed Chandler Fest and want to help support 4 A Better Chandler Inc., they will be hosting a Chandler 8K, 1-mile walk and kids’ dash at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Faith Free Will Baptist Church. Registration is $25 and ends on Thursday, Oct. 6. Wary said they will also have a booth at the Boonville Square Flare —which is the same day as the race — where they will be selling T-shirts, koozies, decals and fleece headbands. Wary said they also hope to have dinner fundraisers at local restaurants in the near future to continue to raise money for the Be The Change in Chandler Playground Project.

For more information about 4 A Better Chandler, Inc. or to donate, visit

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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