Country Fall Festival returns to Zelienople, Harmony
Cooler weather and shorter days may be upon Western Pennsylvania, but so is the Zelienople-Harmony annual Country Fall Festival on Oct. 13 and 14, brought to autumn lovers by the Business Association of the Zelienople-Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce.
Crafts, food, historical re-enactments, music, children's activities and more will fill the free event now in its 28th year, Ethel Mae Hall, festival coordinator. said.
“It's nice family time to walk around, look around and eat a lot,” said Hall, also a member of the business association.
All the events are held between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday in the neighboring towns.
And one may want to begin at Zelienople Main Street Park's Four Corners, where each of the four spots features a festival activity, Hall said.
Referred to as Corner One, the spot features arts, crafts, and music all day at the Gazebo.
Also there will be located the return of Sarah's Amish Donuts, which is coming early on Friday night, said Susan Reimer, the organizer of the craft and food festivities.
“Oh, they are so delicious,” Hall said. “People come from Pittsburgh to get them.”
“Everybody is always looking for them,” said Reimer, a member of the business association.
In Corner Two of the park there will be the farmer's market, including apple cider, jams, even a bake sale.
Food lovers can also enjoy country-style treats such as paw-paw fruit, hot pepper spreads, and Amish kettle apple butter, ice cream and various desserts and treats.
This corner will also feature the Cutt ‘N Hutt Chainsaw Carving, pony rides and farm animals, Hall said.
The third corner also has a variety of homemade foods to purchase, as well as a dining tent.
“We have food everywhere,” Hall said.
Overall, there will be more than 50 crafters and 15 food vendors in addition to the farmer's market, Reimer said.
Fall back into history in the remaining corner, where there will be historical entertainment and educational segments, such as an antique corn grinding machine, and beekeeper displays.
History buffs and novices will witness a live Civil War Historian Encampment, where the 101st Pennsylvania Infantry will talk about life living as a soldier in that time.
And Ghost-in-the-Head, a descendant from the Native American Huron tribe, will discuss traditional activities of his heritage, Hall said.
Learn more about American history including those who lived and pioneered the mountains and west, as will be demonstrated by the Independent Mountain Men of Pa. Encampment of the 1700s to 1840s, according to the group's president, Ed Kavulic.
These men survived in the wilderness of the American frontier living off the land, and the members of the IMM club will be showing the skills they used to survive. Kavulic, said they'll be demonstrating cooking with black skillets over the fire, making firewood flint, and other activities far from today's comforts.
“They lived a rough life, very rough,” said Kavulic, a resident of Green Tree.
This might spark interest to enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride courtesy of Friendship Hill Equine Services, where last year, Hall estimated about 2,500 people rode. The rides are free and will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
The festival is also bringing back its car show, but with a twist. Wheels and Wings is set this year at the Zelienople Municipal Airport, said car and airplane show organizer Paul Vorbach.
The event will be held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
About 40 to 50 cars from the 1920s to the 1960s will be on display Vorbach said. And four to five airplanes will also be on-hand for guests to see.
“People are looking for one last hurrah,” said Vorbach, of Economy, and a member of the business association.
A partner of Hahn and Woodward Auto, Vorbach said they'll be bringing a 1938 HRG Coupe, the only one of its kind, as well as a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster.
And for those looking for a bird's-eye view of the town, they can board an airplane for a 30-minute ride at $25 per person from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. sponsored by the Condor Aero Club.
On Zelienople's Main Street and West Spring Street parking lot, children's activities are planned from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Main Street will also feature pony rides and farm animals, Hall said.
Whether hot and spicy, tasters can determine which is the best in the annual Chili Cookoff on Saturday at the Main Street and West Spring Street parking lot where first, second and a people's choice will be awarded, said chili event organizer Mary Lou Barud.
Two dollars will buy tastes of four chili competitors, and Barud said beer can also be purchased at the site.
“It's our seventh year, and it's a really fun event, It gets bigger every year,” Barud said.
Those wishing to enter must cook everything on site, said Barud, and they're still accepting registrants so visit the festival website for more information.
Hall said there will be “continuous music at both ends” of the festival area, with a full schedule of music from country music beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday with Bill Campbell at the Main Street Park Gazebo to The Chris Taylor Band on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the music tent.
And for more hometown history, visitors can visit the Zelienople Historical Society's Passavant House on South Main Street, open both days. Also, visit the website for performances and movies scheduled for The Strand Theater on North Main Street both Friday and Saturday.
Free shuttle rides for all festival areas, including the airport, will be available sponsored by the Lutheran SeniorLife Passavant Retirement Community. For personal service, call 724-272-0932.
Natalie Beneviat is a free lance writer for Trib Total Media.