As a celebratory thank-you to its loyal customers, the Davis Farmers Market will hold its annual Fall Festival on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Central Park.
Main events include the Avenue of Scarecrows, the Pumpkin Patch, the Central Park Gardens Open House and the Festival Food Faire.
The Davis Farm to School Connection, a program that teaches children to connect food choices with personal health, community, farms and land, will sponsor the Avenue of Scarecrows. In this event, which raises money for the Davis school gardens, schools will create their own scarecrows and put them up for auction in Central Park.
“Lots of classes put together scarecrows and they make some very creative ones, which are really fun to admire,” said Julie Barrett, interim program coordinator of the Davis Farm to School Connection. “They make animals, cartoon characters and famous people. The kids and teachers and parents work really hard at this project.”
The third annual Central Park Gardens Open House will be from 9 a.m. to noon, and will host a plant sale. Yolo County Master Gardeners will be available for gardening advice, and all visitors will receive free wildflower seeds to plant now for spring blooming.
Other events at the Fall Festival will include the Pumpkin Patch, hosted by Soroptomist/Venture Clubs of Davis, live music by the Peter Franklin Band and a performance by juggler Merrie Mary.
“The market gets transformed for the Fall Festival,” said Randii MacNear, executive director of the Davis Farmers Market. “The vendors get dressed up too.”
The children’s area will be filled with activities for little ones, such as harvest headdresses and hair braiding by Lambda Omicron Xi and chemistry activities by the UC Davis Chemistry Club and Explorit Science Center. There will be farm animals from Davis High School’s Future Farmers of America and raptors from the California Raptor Center.
The Fall Festival will also feature a craft faire, as well as gardening, cooking, recycling and composting exhibits from Davis Farm to School Connection.
Delicious food will be a main attraction, with pumpkin pie by the slice, pumpkin ice cream, tamales and burritos, Indian food and fresh-popped kettle corn.
“Students should check out the Fall Festival in general,” Barrett said. “There will be lots of pie by the slice, live music, the Farmers Market and a great fall atmosphere.”
Activities at the Farmers Market Fall Festival will be family-friendly and fun for all ages. Halloween costumes are encouraged.
“The Fall Festival is a down-home country fair feeling, which is hard to find these days,” MacNear said. “It’s safe, family-friendly Halloween fun.”
The Fall Festival is one of the last chances Davis residents will have to enjoy the Farmer’s Market in full this year, as the Picnic in the Park season ends Oct. 28. The Wednesday Farmers Market, however, will continue through the winter months. Beginning Nov. 4, the Farmers Market will be open Wednesdays 2 to 6 p.m., through Mar. 10, 2010.
SARAH HANSEL can be reached at email@example.com.