Governor holds first Parson Family Fall Festival at mansion

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JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson opened the grounds to the governor's mansion Saturday for the first Parson Family Fall Festival.

There were many activities spread out throughout the grounds for families to enjoy. Families could play games like corn hole, a hay bale maze and bowling for candy corn. The first floor of the mansion was open for visitors to tour. 

Parson said he is proud to host the event.

“Really, it’s just a fun atmosphere here today for people to enjoy and get a look at the [mansion], go inside, see the first floor. It’s just a fun event me and the first lady wanted to do,” he said.  

Parson said he expected a crowd, but he was surprised to meet people from outside Missouri at the festival.

“I met some people from Colorado and Indiana here on the grounds today just enjoying the day. It’s great to be able to showcase Missouri, especially people to outside the state,” he said.

He said first lady Teresa Parson deserves credit for planning the festival, but she said the staff made it happen.  

“They got in this week and they worked hard. They made this all happen. I’m so proud of them,” she said.

The first lady said there have been fall festivals on the grounds before, but she was insistent on making it a family affair.

“I want everyone to come out, bring the children and enjoy time with the family because these children are precious to me. They just have a special place in my heart. I’m a mother, grandmother. I just love the children and I want them to have a fun, festive day today,” she said.

Dawn Zurmiller brought her grandson, Maverick, to the festival.  

“Well it’s kind of a tradition for us to do some fall activities… and he loves pumpkins. I love activities to do with him, so we thought we’d check it out,” she said.

Zurmiller said she brings her family to the governor’s mansion during Christmastime, but she would come back to another fall festival, too. She works with young children at HeadStart, and said she would recommend the event to parents.

“There’s so much to do and there’s so much to stimulate those little minds,” she said.

She said the Parson Family Fall Festival is a great event to do as a family.

“We’re always in a hurry, so just to take time out and come out as a family, make a new tradition, strengthen those family bonds. I think that’s great, one of the most important things right there,” she said.

The first lady said she and the governor plan to have this event for every year they live in the mansion.