DENHAM SPRINGS - People and pets wandered through more than 150 vendors' booths Saturday at the 17th annual Denham Springs Fall Festival.
While people snacked on everything from boudin balls to snowballs, pooches won prizes, were adopted and watched the people who provided a steady crowd.
About 5,000 to 7,000 people attended the annual event located in Denham Springs' Antique District, said Chief Criminal Deputy Joe Shumate, of the Denham Springs City Marshal's Office.
Marshal Jerry Denton said the crowd might have been even larger had the LSU football game not been at 2:30 p.m., but he still noticed "lots of folks from out of town."
"It brings a lot of people in here who aren't exactly regulars," said Julie Guidry, owner of Rusty Rooster, one of the Range Avenue antique stores that benefited from the crowd.
Guidry said she and her staff have been preparing for the festival for two or three months, and began decorating a week ago.
She said she expected Sunday to be a "big furniture sale day" since buyers couldn't haul pieces through the busy street Saturday.
Serendipity owner Len Taylor said he had more business during Fall Festival than expected because it was "the biggest it's ever been."
Taylor said "people were waiting at the front door" when Serendipity opened Saturday morning, and he was shocked when visitors parked three blocks away from the Antique District.
Mayor Jimmy Durbin and the City Council are "very, very active" in supporting the Antique District, Taylor said, noting a new parking lot and brick pavers on the sidewalk.
Nina David set up a booth selling lockets for the first time Saturday, though she had attended the festival for three years prior. Her daughter Lindsay Whitmer's aroma booth stood next to hers, and David said Whitmer was busier this year than in years past.
"She hasn't stopped," David said. "You wouldn't think the economy is that bad."
Maybe the best of the day went to the dogs a few booths down where people petted and played with barking puppies and dogs up for adoption from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
President of SPCA of Livingston Parish Terri Dunlap said the organization has set up pet adoptions for six years at the Fall Festival. She said 700 to 800 animals are adopted annually from the SPCA, and usually about 10 dogs are adopted at the Fall Festival.
Sassy, a dog adopted from the SPCA a month ago, participated in the SPCA Bow Wow Ween Howl-O-Ween Canine Costume Contest on Saturday morning, Dunlap said.
Dressed as a punk rocker, complete with a pink Mohawk, Sassy placed second in the Pet Parent section of the costume contest.
Orphan, another dog that's been adopted, though not through the SPCA, took a ribbon. She won second place in the Glitz and Glamour section of the contest. Orphan wore a red tutu and horns, dressed as "Doggie Wears Prada," owner Krystyn Alwood said.
"She just showed up to our house one day," Alwood said. "It's just sad how people just drop off their pets with no care in the world."
They were among a dozen dogs that strutted across the stage, tails wagging under costumes as songs like "Who Let the Dogs Out?" boomed out of speakers.
The crowd cheered and laughed as some canines pulled at their leashes, trying to meet new friends.
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