GAMBIER — Kenyon College’s Brown Family Environmental Center celebrates fall with its annual Harvest Festival this Saturday from 2-5 p.m.
The festival, held at the 500-acre preserve at 9781 Laymon Road, features apple cider, horse-drawn hayrides and beautiful fall foliage, among other autumnal staples. Children will stay entertained with a variety of activities, including face-painting, pumpkin-decorating, air apple-bobbing and, new to the festival this year, an autumn obstacle course. Festival-goers also may make corn husk dolls and dissect owl pellets.
“The BFEC’s mission is about connecting people to nature, and a fun family event is a relaxed way of doing that,” said Noelle Jordan, manager of the BFEC. “This festival also is an opportunity to learn about some of the local organic farms and how easily local produce is available to people.”
Franks and Sammies, an eatery from Newark, will be on site to sell hot dogs, brats, sriracha chicken sausages, barbecue pulled pork and vegetarian hot dogs, among other items. A hand-cranked cider press will turn apples provided by Glen Hill Orchards into cider for visitors.
The Bringin’ It Old Time Band, featuring Bill Miller, will provide live bluegrass music for the festival.
Photos from the 20th annual Knox County Nature Photography Contest will be on display at the festival, and festival-goers are invited to vote on their favorite submissions. The winner of the “people’s choice” vote, along with overall winners in the children’s, adult and student divisions, will be announced at the festival, and winning photos will be displayed at the BFEC through Nov. 10.
“Art in general is a great combination with nature,” Jordan said. “When you’re looking through the lens of a camera at a plant or an animal, you’re forced to look closely at it. It’s another way of making a connection to nature.”
All festival activities are free, and concessions will be available for purchase. A free shuttle will run for the duration of the festival from the Palme House, 101 Ward St., to the BFEC.