By David Fong, Belinda Paschal and Alexandra Newman
Sure, with the oppressive heat of August still hanging in the air, it may be hard to imagine the sound of leaves crunching under foot as the landscape will soon be filled with Ohio’s magnificent autumnal hues.
If you think about hard enough, though, it’s not impossible to imagine hooded sweatshirts, cups filled with hot chocolate or apple cider and bonfires that illuminate the crisp fall nights.
Soon enough, fall will be here, bringing with it not only Friday night high school football games, but also a vast array of festivals, with all the accompanying fun, food and fellowship. Fall festivals have all the same things as summer festivals — only with less heat and fewer mosquitoes.
So get out this fall and experience all the area has to offer.
Here’s a list of fall festivals coming to the area in the next few months:
• Hayner Culteral Center Conert on the Lawn — Aug. 27
The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with a concert on the lawn at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at 301 W. Main St. The free concert will feature the Columbus-based band, CAAMP. This band is an indie-folk band with Taylor Meier (lead vocals/guitar) and Evan Westfall (banjo/vocals/kick drum). Taylor and Evan list their musical influences such as Ray LaMontange, Justin Vernon and Trampled by Turtles.
• St. Remy Russia Homecoming Festival — Sept. 2-4
The St. Remy Russia Homecoming Festival will be held Sept. 2-4. The yearly celebration takes place on the grounds of St. Remy Hall in Russia, Ohio. The festival welcomes home past community members and invites everyone else to enjoy a weekend of fun, food and friendships. In addition to the Texas Hold ‘Em, dodge ball, corn hole, and co-ed volleyball tournaments, there will be a cutest baby contest, diaper derby, rides, Running Raider 5K, lip-sync contest, and kiddie tractor pull. There will be live music, a clown, and much more. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.russiahomecoming.com
• Fort Rowdy Gathering — Sept. 3-5
The depiction of a bustling, small trading village set in the late 1700s and early 1800s is what you step into when you enter the Covington Community Park the first weekend of October. Falling leaves and the smell of open fires lure you to our “Gathering” and all the homemade foods, arts and crafts will have you wanting to linger there for the weekend festivities. Authentic demonstrations, contests, games and entertainment throughout the two-day “Gathering” add up to fun and enjoyment for the whole family. The 208-foot portable footbridge will carry you across the Stillwater River to the mountain man encampments and a true feeling of life of a by-gone era. Admission is free. For more information, call (937) 473-5439 or visit FortRowdy.org.
• Tippapalooza — Saturday, Sept. 3
The fifth annual Tippapalooza music festival will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Tipp City Eagle’s Park, 3853 N. Kessler-Cowlesville Road. The event will feature local bands, (including headliner, Beesly), food and drinks and a family picnic atmosphere. Admission is $5 per person at the gate and the event benefits local charities. For a full lineup, visit www.Tippapalooza.com.
• St. Paris Pony Wagon Days — Sept. 8-10
This festival features rides, games, food and entertainment and takes place from 5-11 p.m. Thursday; 4-11 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday in downtown St. Paris. Highlights on Thursday include a parade at 6 p.m., a rock wall climb, food trucks and a gift basket auction. Friday’s highlights include performances by Larry Lyons and Steel Ivory Band and cart displays. Saturday features a car show, chicken and noodle dinners, a children’s parade at 1 p.m. and an Ohio State Tailgate Party. Admission is free. For a full schedule of events, visit www.ponywagondays.com/index.html.
• Vandalia Oktoberfeste — Sept. 9-10
This popular Oktoberfest takes place from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday at the Vandalia Sports Complex in Vandalia. Admission is $4 for adults and free to children 12 and under and is good for both days. The festival is popular for its large gambling tents (6 p.m. to midnight both days),German food and beer; performances by the Sauerkraut German Band and more. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.vandaliasistercities.org/oktoberfest-information.
• Taste of Troy — Sept. 10
Troy Main Street Inc. will present the 2016 Taste of Troy from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 on the Public Square in downtown Troy. The event includes sample food from 14 local restaurants, a farmers market, beer and wine tastings, and live music. Tickets for food and drink tastes can be purchased at the Taste of Troy. Admission is free. For more information, call (937) 339-5455 or visit TroyMainStreet.org.
• WACO Celebration & Fly-In — Sept. 16-18
WACO owners fly their aircraft back to Troy, the site of their manufacture. Come and see these aircraft close up and talk to the people who restored, maintain and fly these machines. Tour the newly renovated WACO Air Museum, enjoy food, and for an additional fee, take a ride in an open cockpit biplane. The events will be held at WACO Air Museum and Learning Center, 1865 S. County Road 25-A, Troy. For more information, call (937) 335-9226 or visit WacoAirMuseum.org.
• Piqua Bike Fest — Sept. 16-17
The “Piqua BikeFest — One Hundred Years Later” will be Sept. 16-17 the Piqua community will welcome motorcycle enthusiasts from local communities and beyond for a two-day celebration of motorcycling, community, history and fun. Events will be held in downtown Piqua. Call 773-8733 or visit PiquaBikeFest.com for more information. Admission is free.
• Lake Loramie Fall Festival — Sept. 16-18
This festival takes place at Lake Loramie State Park and includes an antique power show, children’s games, food and arts and crafts. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.minsteroh.com.
• Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival — Sept. 16-18
This three-day festival in Urbana features seafood such as crab cakes, oyster and shrimp po boys, fish and chips, shrimp rolls, gator bites, catfish and more, plus live entertainment, petting zoos (including petting fish), a children’s area and more. The festival takes place at Freshwater Farms of Ohio, 2624 N. U.S. Highway 68 in Urbana, as well as in downtown Urbana. Hours are 4-10:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and admission is $5 for guests 13 and older; $2 for guests 3- 12; and free for children under 3. For complete details, visit www.fwfarms.com/festival.
• Tipp City Mum Festival — Sept. 23-25
At one time, Tipp City was known for growing a large variety of mums. The festival celebrates this heritage, and the hometown pride instilled in this tight community. A parade strolls down historic Main Street and directly into the community park where arts, crafts, games and entertainment are abundant. A Friday night cruise-in will be followed by the Saturday parade with festival activities at the City Park. Sunday also will include festival activities at the park. Live entertainment both Saturday and Sunday. For more, call (937) 387-6774 or visit TippCityMumFestival.org.
• New Bremen Pumpkin Fest — Sept. 23-24
New Bremen Pumpkinfest will be held Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24 at Crown Pavilion, East Plum Street and South Washington Street in New Bremen. The annual festival will feature an artisan showcase, pumpkin roll, pie eating contest, live entertainment, his and hers raffles, craft brewery vendors and more. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit http://newbremenpumpkinfest.com
• St. Boniface Parish Oktoberfest in Piqua — Sept. 23-24
This festival features German and American foods, music, raffles, authentic cabbage roll dinners and more and will take place from 5-11 p.m. Friday and 2-11 p.m. Saturday at 310 S. Downing St. in Piqua. Admission is free.
• Dayton Oktoberfest — Sept 23-25
This festival is presented by Miller Lite and boasts an array of artisans,unique foods, lots of domestic, international and craft beers, kid-friendly art activities, live music on two stages, international wines and more. It takes place Friday through Sunday at the Dayton Art Institute. For details, visit www.daytonartinstitute.org/events-activities/oktoberfest.
• Fort Loramie German Heritage Days — Sept. 23-24
Celebrate the region’s German heritage at this two-day festival at Canal Park in downtown Fort Loramie. Enjoy the food and culture of Germany and more.
• Minster Oktoberfest — Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Minster Oktoberfest will be held Friday Sept. 30, Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2, all throughout Minster. Oktoberfest, which draws over 80,000 people to the village, emphasizes the community’s rich German heritage. Now in its 41st year, the festival has little miss and miss pageants, a parade, a car show, live music, a 10K race, arts and crafts vendors, fun will beet, and more. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.minsteroktoberfest.com
• New Carlisle Heritage of Flight Festival and Parade — Sept. 30-Oct. 2
This festival takes place from 2-11 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday in downtown New Carlisle. This year, the festival will attempt to break the Chicken Dance World Record, while also hosting a wing eating contest, a parachute jump, and a huge parade and offering sports on big screen TVs in the beer tent, just name some of what’s going on. For a full schedule of events, visit www.heritageofflight.com/schedule.html.
• Johnston Farm and Indian Agency Fall Celebration — Oct. 1
If you’ve ever wondered what the Miami and Erie Canal looked like in the fall, come to Johnston Farm & Indian Agency on Saturday, Oct. 1, where the annual Fall Celebration will be held from noon to 5 p.m.
There will be two canal boat rides aboard the General Harrison of Piqua, the first at 1 p.m., traveling north to Lock 8 and returning to the landing. The second ride at 2:30 p.m. will travel the entire length of our section of the canal to give passengers an idea of what canawlers saw in 1845 as they moved across western Ohio by canal boat. For land lubbers, there will be a hayride at 4 p.m. along the towpath.
There also will be a variety of activities and demonstrations at the home of John Johnston as well as a tour of the home. Be sure to include a visit to the Historic Indian and Canal Museum. Johnston Farm & Indian Agency is located at 9845 N. Hardin Road in Piqua.
Admission is $9 general, $8 seniors and AAA members, $4 ages 6-12, and free for those under 5, as well as members of the Johnston Farm Friends and Ohio History Connection.
For more information, call (937) 773-2522 or 1-800-752-2619, or visit www.johnstonfarmohio.com.
• Bradford Pumpkin Show — Oct. 4-8
Everything’s coming up pumpkin! That’s the reigning flavor for the month of October, when the Bradford Pumpkin Show comes to town.
The village streets become the backdrop for one of the most popular festivals in Miami County. This year’s event will be held Oct. 4-8, with a midway featuring games, rides, crafts, concessions and merchandise. During this five-day event, enjoy one of the many parades that take place while indulging your taste buds with pumpkin ice cream corn on the cob, and many other tasty treats!
For more details, call (937) 448-6671 or go to www.BradfordPumpkinShow.org.
• Miami County Park District Fall Farm Fest — Oct. 8-9
Every year, among the tree-lined lanes and colorful foliage at Lost Creek Reserve, the Miami County Park District hosts its biggest event of the year, Fall Farm Fest. On Saturday, Oct. 8, from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9, from noon to 5 p.m., the historic Knoop Homestead at the Reserve will be a hub of activity for the thousands who attend the two-day festival celebrating Miami County’s agricultural heritage.
The festival offers a six-acre corn maze, corn cannon, live music, food, hayrides, a scarecrow contest, children’s activities, demonstrations, vendors, display booths, farm animals, kiddie tractor pulls, a pumpkin patch and more. General admission to this family friendly event is free, with minimal costs for the corn maze and corn cannon. All proceeds go to the Friends of the Miami County Park District Fund.
Lost Creek Reserve is located at 2385 E. State Route 41 in Troy. For more information, visit www.miamicountyparks.com/pages/FallFarmFest1.htm.
•Groovy Gourd Bike Tour — Oct. 8
The fourth annual Groovy Gourd Bike Tour begins and ends in downtown Piqua, winding its way through Miami County’s rolling fields. Bikers can take a 25 of 50 miles tour. Registration begins at 8 a.m. For more information, visit www.mainstreetpiqua.com
• Anna Fall Harvest Fest — Oct. 9
A kid-friendly event featuring live nocturnal creatures! Learn about Ohio’s nocturnal creepy, crawly, feathery and furred creatures during this special program.
Your enchanted evening includes a guided walk through the luminary-lit woods, meeting live creatures along the way. This kid-friendly program is geared for elementary-aged students and their families.
Admission is just $3 for members and $5 for non-members and includes refreshments, stargazing, games, crafts and face painting! For more information visit www.bruknernaturecenter.com or call 937-698-6493.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong