TROY — With the official start of the fall season behind us, what better way to celebrate than getting outdoors at this weekend’s Fall Farm Fest, sponsored by the Miami County Park District.
The park district will hold its eighth annual Fall Farm Fest from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at Lost Creek Reserve, 2645 E. State Route 41, east of Troy.
“It’s a celebration of the agricultural heritage of Miami County,” said J. Scott Myers, executive director of the Miami County Park District.
The sprawling 456-acre Lost Creek Reserve park is the perfect location to hold such an event, according to Amanda Smith, marketing administrator. Smith said approximately 3,000 people participated the inaugural year, while more than 15,000 attendees are estimated to have visited in 2015.
“The wonderful thing about it is that it is spread out over a large area,” Smith said of the event, which has free admission. “So even though there might be a lot of people, it is not cramped.”
The festival offers a corn maze, corn cannon, music, food, wagon rides, a scarecrow contest, children’s games, demonstrations, vendors, display booths, farm animals, Koenig Equipment’s Kiddie Tractor Pull, a pumpkin patch, face painting and more.
The corn maze will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Experience the adventure as you navigate the twists and turns of this six-acre corn maze. Admission is a $5 donation for adults ages 12 and up, $3 fee for children ages 5-11, and kids under 4 are free. In addition to being open during Fall Farm Fest, the maze is available to rent for private gatherings.
At 5 p.m. Saturday, local residents can enjoy games compliments of the presenting sponsor, the Miami County Farm Bureau. The evening will end with the movie “Shaun the Sheep” under the stars starting at 7:15 p.m.
A highlight of the festival each year, according to Smith, is the wagon ride down a charming farm lane lined with scarecrows that are part of an annual contest. Visitors select the winners in three out of four categories, so don’t forget to cast your vote.
Traditional children’s activities will also be available.
“We have old-fashioned games and pumpkin painting. Kids especially love the farm animals, pony rides and rope making,” said Jessie Chernetski, outreach coordinator for the Miami County Park District.
The farm animal petting zoo located in the bottom of the 1832 historic bank barn is another must during the visit. On Sunday, a small flock of sheep will take up residence as they await the working sheep dog demonstration. As visitors explore the reserve, watch one of the many demonstrations. See firsthand how teams of oxen were used in daily farm life. Head out to the “Back Forty” and watch a variety of horse demos brought to you by the Miami County Equine Initiative Task Force. The Children’s Homestead will be set up for kids to enjoy on Sunday as well.
Musical performers also will be appearing on two stages. The music portion of the festival will include everything from singer-songwriters and bluegrass to folk and soft rock.
“Each year, we have been able to schedule talented local and regional musicians,” Myers said. “It really adds something special to the atmosphere.”
A handful of vendors will be available throughout the weekend, selling everything from food to artwork. Food vendors include Boy Scout Troop No. 365, Cumberland Kettle Corn, Kiwanis Club of Troy, Mohawk Freestyle Grill, Susie’s Big Dipper, Hickory River Smokehouse, Kona Ice, Nacho Pig and Truck and Fire Pizza.
Other vendors include: Bob Cruikshank Forging, Winks Crafts, Chateau Farms, Backyard Blessings, Virgil’s Fine Soaps, Rosebud’s Ranch & Garden, The Olive Oasis, Golden Queen Honey, Live Life Years Younger Naturally and Indian Creek Distillery.
Both Myers and Smith encourage community members — from young and old — to come out to the annual autumn event and celebrate the season.
“Fall Farm Fest is one of those hometown events that adds to the high quality of life in Miami County,” Myers said.
“It looks like it is going to be a beautiful weekend and the Fall Farm Fest is the perfect place to enjoy it,” Smith said.
The Miami County Park District will host its annual Fall Farm Festival this weekend, featuring a corn maze, live music, vendors, demonstrations, a children’s area and more. The free event will take place at Lost Creek Reserve, just outside of Troy.
Reach Melody Vallieu at email@example.com or call (937) 552-2131