GAMBIER — In conjunction with Kenyon College’s Family Weekend, the annual Fall Harvest Festival was held Saturday at the Brown Family Environmental Center.
It was a free family event open to the community and many visitors enjoyed the music, wagon rides, and pumpkin decorating.
The center was open and inside visitors could see live albino snakes, turtles and fish as well as learn about the Rural Life Center and view colorful nature photography.
Abby, Emma, and James Rinehart chose their favorite creatures. The girls liked the snakes and James liked the fish.
Their mother, Kyla Dalton, said the children had already enjoyed the environmental center with their preschool classes and she brings them every year for the festival.
Community members were invited to enter the Knox County Nature Photography Contest earlier in the fall and the entries were displayed inside the BFEC building. Visitors to the festival were invited to vote to select the winners.
Outside the horse-drawn wagon rides and pumpkin decorating were popular attractions. Visitors also enjoyed learning about local insects, birds and leaves and the explanations were interactive. For example, leaf prints helped impress visitors with the names of the local trees.
An old-fashioned cider press turned apples donated by Glen Hill Orchards into cool apple cider. As Mary Alice Jackson turned the press wheel, young Mateo Pechon Elkins couldn’t wait for the juice to fill a pitcher.
Sticking his hand into the flow of juice, he declared, “It’s good.”
Music provided a festive air outside. Among the entertainers were members of Firefly: Sarah Gosslee Reed, vocals and guitar; Tom Martin on bass; and Skip Tresk on drums. The group plays folk music with many of the songs written by Gosslee Reed.
Roasting marshmallows and sitting close to the fire in the cool afternoon was attractive to many of the visitors. Cecilia Martinez was visiting her sister, Lili Martinez, and they roasted marshmallows. Cecilia said she was only a high school freshman so it was too soon to decide if she would attend Kenyon.
Lili Martinez is a senior studying international studies. Enjoying his own marshmallows was Sam Barickman. He is a senior studying drama and French.
Other outdoor activities included netting tadpoles and frogs in the pond and sampling or purchasing local foods. “The Farm on Kenyon Road” offered tastes of fresh jams.
Another local food producer included John and Bonnie Snyder’s Community Supported Agriculture. The Danville farm makes its local foods available at pick up sites in the community.
Contact Rhonda BletnerEmail
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