Falling leaves bring fall activities
As the chilly nights are indicating, fall is on the way. But more than just cold weather and falling leaves come with the fall season. Hayrides and pumpkin patches captivate the family demographic while haunted horrors attract teens. Here are six fun and frightening events that are a seasonal must for locals.
The Iron’s Fruit Farm has been holding its annual fall festival since ‘36. The festival includes the Farm’s signature corn maze, a hayride and a pumpkin patch busting at the seams with squashes large and small. The Farm is open to visitors every weekend now through October.(Irons Fruit Farm)
For those who live in Mason, the Schappacher Farm in a regional landmark. The Schappachers have been running their fall shindig since their daughter’s kindergarten class attended the farm 20 years ago. The farm boasts free hayrides and is a feature on the Pumpkin Patch Express that operates annually during October weekends.
Horror seekers can get their fix at the Dent School House. The DSH was the sight of a number of murders, carried out the school’s very own janitor. The misbehaving students, who became victims for the bloodthirsty janitor, are rumored to still wander the halls seeking escape from the school they will never leave. (http://www.frightsite.com/gallery.htm)
The Chambers of Horror is less a well-known, yet economical, fright filled attraction. The classic movie monsters that we all have come to love will leave you second guessing that love while you navigate your way through the recently expanded CoH.
Kings Island’s annual Halloween Haunt (aka FearFest) is always a crowd pleaser. This year the Haunt features eleven fright filled mazes and four terrifying scare zones. Specialty scarers dressed in full costume wander the park ready to offer help or horror to all. The haunt will be open every weekend through October.
Right here in the Kings District, The Columbia Intermediate School’s annual Spooktacular is a festival for all ages, including a haunted maze, face painting along with many other festive games and activities. The event is Saturday, Oct. 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the school.
Another successful Lebanon Country Apple Festival
The Country Apple Fest took place on Saturday Sept. 28 in Historic downtown Lebanon. Events included: a Civil War Reenactment, a car show, and the YMCA run. The longest running and returning craft festival in the City of Lebanon, the Country Apple Fest is now on its 31st year. Featuring one-of-a-kind crafts made by some of the area’s most talented artisans, it’s an attraction for people from all around. This year’s festival brought an estimated 70,000 people. There were about 200 booths at this year’s event. Food included apple fritters, caramel apples, fudge covered apples, and apple pie. Apple Fest is a great community event to bring everyone together. The organizers of Apple Fest take great pride in the fact that they don’t accept corporate donations. Only food and craft vendors are accepted at the event. Country Applefest is a non-profit 501C charitable organization. Every year since 2008, they’ve donated at least $3,000 to the Lebanon Food Pantry. They’ve given $19,500 back to the community.
Haley and Hannah O’Leary volunteered at a booth for the Rainbow Girls Organization, an organization geared toward creating future leaders through community service. The O’Leary twins are both members, and say that they were happy to support it at this event. Hannah said that the best part of the experience was interacting with people of all different ages, “Everyone there had a smile on their face. If I could see that everyday, I would do that kind of stuff all the time.” Haley said that she agrees with her sister, in that community service is an important part of coming together as people, “It was so cool to see how everyone reacted to all the stuff we had. I’m happy that I was part of all of that.”
Locals have been discussing the possibility of the festival being moved from the streets to the Warren County Fairgrounds in years to come. Sue Dane, a former booth owner, and returning patron of the Country Apple Fest, says that the main concern that the organizers are addressing by doing this is the lack of parking space that the streets have. Sue says that she looks forward to the change in venue, but she’s unsure of the effect that the new atmosphere will have on the festival as a whole: “I’m afraid that it may lose some of that country element that it has here.” she said, gesturing to the streets. The booths will be inside a building, rather than outside. Sue looks forward to the festival improving in the future, though, and appreciates the consideration that the organizers have put into it, “I hope that it keeps getting better. I’ve watched this thing grow through the years, and it matters to me that they keep doing things right here.”