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Area pumpkin patches, fall festivals promise a harvest of family fun

October is just around the corner, and with it will come plenty of opportunities for fall fun.

With Perham's Harvest Fest and Fall Flea Market coming up, along with Uncle Ray's Pumpkin Patch in New York Mills and the Pumpkin Fest in Ottertail, those seeking a little autumn entertainment need not go far to find it.

Harvest Fest

Perham's 6th Annual Harvest Fest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the downtown area. The event will include music, food, games, flea markets and more.

"I'm praying that the weather will hold and we'll have a nice sunny day," said Kathy Gould, lead organizer of the Harvest Fest with the Perham Events Committee. "It should be a lot of fun."

Family-friendly activities like apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, face painting and more will take place throughout the day at NP Park (next to the Post Office). Concessions will also be available at the park.

Music will be provided by "After Dark," a band that Gould said plays a wide variety of songs and genres.

From 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., the public is invited to bring any antiques or collectibles to the Main Street 'Roadshow,' where the items will be assessed for value in the style of the popular PBS television show, "Antiques Roadshow." Is it treasure or trash? Here's your chance to find out.

Shoppers looking for jewelry, artwork, crafts and other goods will have two flea markets to choose from: one will be located across from Pizza Ranch, the other at Blossoms, Birds & Beyond. Both locations will be open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Blossoms, Birds & Beyond will also host a petting zoo, chain saw sculpture demonstrations and a wreath-making class.

There will be inflatable bounce houses for kids, and "Imaginick," a strolling magician, will roam the downtown area.

"Some things that were a really big hit last year we're repeating this year," Gould said. "The family things are really popular."

A 5K Race will be held at Arvig Park at 10:30 a.m., followed by a family walk. The race and walk are a partnership with Ella's Halo, a nonprofit organization for premature babies. Funds raised from the race will go to the cause.

A shuttle service will be available between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., making stops between Ma's Little Red Barn & Blossoms, Birds & Beyond.

Uncle Ray's Pumpkin Patch

For the 10th year in a row, S&S Vineyards in New York Mills will host Uncle Ray's Pumpkin Patch.

The event was started "for the enjoyment of the kids" by prominent New York Mills community member Ray Sonnenberg, explained his nephew Brian Sillanpaa. After Ray's passing, the family kept it going as a fun community gathering.

Set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. through the afternoon, the Pumpkin Patch will offer a free pumpkin and free lunch for every child. Beverages will be on site.

Live music will be played in the big white barn; community musicians are invited to join in for an informal 'jam session.'

"We give away a couple of thousand pumpkins every year," said Sillanpaa. "It's a social time. A get-together. It's all done in memory of my uncle Ray."

S&S Vineyards is located about 2.5 miles north of New York Mills on County Hwy. 67.

Ottertail Pumpkin Fest

"It's a really fun day," said Pam Williams of her store's annual event. "We all love it."

Williams is the owner of Williams Company Store, which has organized and hosted the Pumpkin Fest for a decade.

Now in its 11th year, the festival will feature horse drawn cart rides through town, pumpkin carving, face painting, food, beverages and live music by Detroit Lakes musician Mike Hokanson.

There will also be a giant pumpkin weigh-off, featuring five pumpkins, grown locally, weighing more than 500 pounds each.

Taking place from noon-3 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the store and backyard garden of the Williams Company Store on Main Street, the Ottertail Pumpkin Fest is a charity event. All proceeds will be donated to the Ottertail County School Backpack program.