A new chill and the fresh smell of crisp leaves fill the air. Pumpkins sit out decorating front steps. Kids skip through apple fields while harvesting a tasty treat. Football season is well under way and many televisions will be assaulted in unjust ways after a few bad calls. Of course it’s also fair season as well. The first fair of the October season that I attended was Warner’s Fall Foliage Festival and this weekend I checked out Hudson’s Pumpkinfest. I found some amazing crafts, fun people and great food at these events.
Warner’s Fall Foliage Festival was a large event from October 5-7 on East Main Street in Warner. The festival was a merge of a craft fair, a regular fair (with kiddie rides and farm animal events), a talent show and flea market. This festival was very large and spread out, up and down roads, in building and on lawns. In the heart of the festival was a flat stage set up for the performers. Singers and dancers congregated here. Many talented young children or groups of children flashed their performance skills for on looking parents and guests. The talent didn’t end here though strolling around amongst the crafter I was astounded by crafty and creative group assembled here. Handmade pottery, quilts, purses, scarfs, hats, gloves, home décor, soaps and more; New Hampshire is very innovative. A woman sat at her booth spinning wool into yarn from Loosen Ends Weaving/ Fiber Arts. Another woman, CraftyKathi, turned her old plastic grocery store shopping bags into new reusable woven bags. She offered totes, picnic bags, coin purses and more. Amazing and ecofriendly! Another man from Dogwood Studios, made amazing wildlife shaped puzzles and other wood crafts. Not to mention the number of people selling handmade Christmas items; stocking, tree skirts, and table runners in a variety of Christmas patterns. This was great but the local creativity didn’t end here! The Festival offered your average fair cuisine of deep fried everything but the creative residents also got involved in this too! Restaurants opened booths serving comfort food and local growers got products out farmers’ market style. Fall comforts were available, like cider, and apple crisp. Fun, stay at home and relax foods like chili and mac and cheese were on the menu. They even offered homemade ice cream! Buffalo meat from Yankee Farmers’ Market was available if you wanted chilli, a burger or a hot dog. It turned out to be a great day and only sprinkled a little and the foliage was at about 50% of its prime color change.
The Hudson Pumpkinfest was a small festival that took place October 12-14 off Route 102 in Hudson. Of course the day I chose to go was the last day. It was rainy and cold so there were few people and not as many vendors as there had been on Friday and Saturday when the sun was out but it was still fun. Fair rides were set up for the kiddos but because of the rain the children seemed more drawn toward the small petting zoo and the pony rides. The petting zoo offered pigmy goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, a small donkey, a baby donkey, turkeys, a llama, an alpaca, a cow and a baby llama/ alpaca hybrid called a Inca. The babies animals were extremely wet muddy and cute especially the donkey and the Inca!! Pony rides were offered under a heated tarp so kids could have a ride and stay warm and dry. The pumpkinfest had some fun crafts. Although my favorite vendor was a wood crafter, named John Holmes, he made clocks, planters and even toilet paper roll holders out of wood in the shape of bears and moose. The most creative item he made was the convertible picnic table. The table converted into a backed bench.He doesn’t seem to have a website but I’m looking into more details but his workwood was awesome! The pumpkinfest also offer a vendor selling home brew soda in barrels, Martial Arts instruction, handmade jewelry, a car show, and on Saturday night it had fireworks.
Keep in mind fall fairs aren’t over yet. Keene’s Pumpkin Festival is coming next Saturday October 20th from noon to 8:30 p.m.