PENFIELD – Autumn is in full swing, and for many, this is their favorite time of the year.
Some enjoy the cooler weather. Others venture out to see nature’s leaf displays. Still more look forward to fresh apple cider and other treats normally enjoyed during the fall and harvest season.
These experiences and more will be available at Parker Dam State Park’s ninth annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Float on Oct. 18. From 12 p.m. until 5 p.m., there will be traditional activities, such as apple cidering, candle dipping, bannock bread, butter making, natural dyes, dried meat, leaf art, pumpkin carving, apple butter, the camp cook and pioneer games.
Throughout the afternoon, there will also be other educational programming on topics, such as Pennsylvania elk, tree identification and creepy crawly critters.
Several vendors, artists and craftspeople will also be on hand to showcase and sell their wares throughout the late morning and afternoon. The concession stand will be open during the festival until early evening for festivalgoers to purchase many items.
From 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., the Friends of Parker Dam will be treating festivalgoers to hay wagon rides for a nominal fee that supports the organization’s projects at Parker Dam State Park.
At 4 p.m., the Friends of Parker Dam State Park will also lead a costume parade for children, and children at heart, through the festival area. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade should meet near the beach house shortly before 4 p.m.
Following the parade, there will be a trick-or-treat period in the campground and cabin areas until 6 p.m. Overnight visitors in the campground and cabin areas will be given a tag to place on their site post or cabin door if they wish to participate in the Trick-or-Treat.
The evening activities start at 6:30 p.m. when the beach bonfire will begin. Festivalgoers should bring along a lawn chair or blanket. The Pumpkin Float will take place at 7 p.m. when lighted jack-o-lanterns adrift on the lake.
Then until 8 p.m., festivalgoers can sit around the bonfire and listen to tales of the Ghost of Bill Farley, while the pumpkins, and with any luck the stars, sparkle off the lake.
Parking will be available all day along Mud Run Road in the Day Use Area and also in the turf parking area below the Park Office. All activities are just a short walk into the Day Use Area near the beach house and Pavilions 1-4.
Admission, parking and educational activities are free of charge.