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Fall tours and festivals: Top spots for seasonal fun around our Northwest corner

Sep 8th, 2010 | Category: Events, Farms, Features

by Becca Schwarz Cole

This year, there are plenty of options for those seeking autumn fun. Whether you seek pumpkin picking, meeting local farmers, exploring farms, eating farm fresh treats, viewing artwork, heading out on interpretive walks or hurling pumpkins great distances, there’s something for you in the northwest. Following are just some of the tours, festivals and events taking place in September and October.

Whidbey Island Farm Tour
This self-directed fifth annual tour of local farms on Whidbey Island takes place Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12 , from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A total of 19 farms are slated for this tour including: A Knot in Thyme, Bell’s Farm, Comfort Farm & Vineyard, Fern Ridge Alpacas, Good Cheer Garden, Greenbank Farm Training Center, Huntersmoon Farm, Laughing Ducks & Barking Dogs Farms, Lavender Wind Farm, Mike Post 19 Farm, Pronkin’ Pastures, ReinShadow Ranch, Rosehip Farm & Garden, Shipki Farm Organics, Sonshine Alpacas, Strawfield House & Farm, and Willowood Farm. In addition to the variety of farms, a local harvest dinner party will be hosted at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters on Saturday, Sept. 11, beginning at 6 p.m. Chef Jess will serve a four-course, island-sourced dinner. For more information, call (360) 321-5270 or visit http://whidbeyfarmtour.wordpress.com/

Whatcom County Farm Tour
Sponsored by Sustainable Connections, this third annual self-guided farm tour will take visitors to 13 locations around Whatcom County on Saturday, Sept. 11. Farms and stops include: Bellewood Acres, Bellingham Country Gardens, Bellingham Farmers Market, Boxx Berry Farm, Cloud Mountain Farm, Dakota Creek Winery, Edelweiss Dairy, Grace Harbor Farms, Heritage Lane Farm, Mama’s Garden, Silver Springs Creamery and Twisted S Ranch. For more information or a copy of a map, call (360) 647-7093 x114  or visit http://sustainableconnections.org/foodfarming/ffevents/whatcom-co.-farm-tour

Lynden FFA Corn Maze
On Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 26, the Lynden FFA group hosts a corn maze on Hannegan Road in Lynden (just south of Front Street & downtown Lynden). Admission is $6 per adult (7th grade and up), $4 per student (kindergarten through 6th grade), free for children 4 years and younger, and $18 per family (2 adults, 3 kids).
For more information, call (360) 354-4401 or visit http://www.lyndenffa.com.

Harvest Jubilee 2010
The 2010 Harvest Jubilee highlights the agricultural past and present of the northwest corner of Snohomish County and Camano Island on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can access 18 farms in the area, including: The Almost Organic Christianson Farm Stand, Genesis Alpacas & JRAM Alpacas, Jordan Nursery, Mossyback Farms, Open Gate Farm , Orchard’s Nursery, Out-on-a-Limb Orchids / Camano Island Lavender Farm, Pioneer Farms, Quiet Light Candles, Soggy Bottom Plants & Gifts, Inc., Wild Song Nursery, Williams’ Pioneer Pumpkin Patch, People Helping Horses, Shambala Trading Post & Perennials, Del Fox Custom Meats, Inc, Utopia Alpacas, Silvana Meats Inc. and Valhalla Farm.
Tour maps are available at all venues and Stanwood & Camano Island Chambers. The Festival Hub at The Country Store in downtown Stanwood will feature fresh foods, beer and wine tasting, live music, crafts, exhibits, animals, produce, tractors, wagon rides and much more. At the nearby Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center, the “Berries, Farms & Dairies Historical Retrospective” will be shown (www.sahs-fncc.org) as well as the “Harvest of Art: Farms, Fields & Foliage, Fine Art Show” (www.CamanoArts.org), both of these events also showing on Sunday, Sept. 26.  Other activities include a breakfast at the Stanwood Community & Senior Center, discussions with Master Gardeners, information about growing garlic, and “Bringing in the Harvest” awards for biggest zucchini, best zucchini bread and best apple pie.
For more information, call (360) 629-0562 or visit http://harvestjubilee.org.

Burlington Harvest Festival

The Burlington Harvest Festival, put on by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the City of Burlington, offers family-friendly fun on Sept. 25 in the Skagit River Park. The event includes the Pumpkin Pitch, one of the only “pumpkin hurling” events on the West Coast. Other activities include zucchini car races, face painting, caramel apple making, pumpkin painting, pie eating contest, seed spitting contest and children’s games.
For more information, call (360)757-0994 or visit http://www.burlington-chamber.com.

Mount Vernon Fall Fest

This family-oriented event in downtown Mount Vernon takes place Saturday, Sept 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event honors, celebrates, and shares in the bounty of local agriculture and gives residents a chance to experience some of the fun that can be had down on the farm. Local products, local foods, local crafts people and the homespun arts are emphasized. Includes a farmers markets, street fair, live entertainment, children’s activities, fiber arts display, beer and wine garden, sustainability workshops and much more.

12th Annual Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

The 12th Annual Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms will take place Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. A total of 13 farms and sites are open to the public, in the communities of Bow, Burlington, Concrete, Mount Vernon, La Conner, Rockport and Sedro-Woolley. The locations include: Taylor Shellfish Farm, Golden Glen Creamery, Vic Jensen & Sons Dairy, Sakuma Bros Farms & Market Stand, Double O Ranch, Martiny Suffolks, Hedlin Family Farm, La Conner Flats, Gordon Skagit Farm, Schuh Farms, Cascadian Farm, Alpaca Partners, Hemlock Highlands Ranch, Eagle Haven Winery and Perkins Apple Orchard. Free admission and free parking for visitors at all sites. Activities and offerings include fresh food, “meet the farmer” sessions, vegetable racing and pony rides, oyster shucking demonstrations, scarecrow making and hayrides, corn maze, homemade goodies, wine tastings, exhibits, information, demonstrations and more.
For more information, call (360) 421-4729 or visit www.festivaloffamilyfarms.com.


Festival of Pumpkins

In northern Snohomish County, five farms offer an abundance of activities to make the annual Festival of Pumpkins a can’t miss-event throughout the month of October. From amazing corn mazes, hay rides and farm animals, to pumpkins and kids games, there are activities for all ages. Admission varies for each location.
The five participating pumpkin farms are:
•  Bob’s Corn and Pumpkin Patch (www.bobscorn.net), open seven days a week starting the last week in September. This year’s maze is designed in the shape of a hot air balloon (owner Bob came up with the idea because the hot air balloons land in the fields next to the corn maze).
• Carleton Farm  (carletonfarm.com) has a corn maze that features the Farm Trivia game in which participants must solve puzzles and find locations to get through the maze.  The maze is open all during the month of October from 9 a.m. to dusk.
• Craven Farm  (www.cravenfarm.com) was Snohomish County’s first pumpkin patch and features a 15-acre corn maze with an Alice in Pumpkinland theme, including a white rabbit and three secret rooms.
• Stocker Farms & Festival Field (www.stockerfarms.com) has two sites to choose pumpkins – the daily Farm Market and the weekend festival field. Each year, the farm has a “themed” 10-acre corn maze, and 2010’s theme is “protect our farms and forests” in conjunction with the Cascade Land Conservancy. The maze is open Wednesday through Sunday, starting late September. Starting Oct. 10, the maze is haunted on weekend nights and Oct. 30-31.
• The Farm at Swans Trail     (www.thefarm1.com) features the Washington State Corn Maze, a 12-acre maze that resembles a giant map of the State of Washington, with more than 600 signs marking roads, cities and towns. Teachers bring their students to this maze to study state history and geography!
On a related note, the Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl will take place Saturday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bartelheimer Farm. Teams will hurl 8-pound pumpkins up to 1,800 feet in a contest for distance using medieval trebuchets.
For complete listings and more information, visit http://www.festivalofpumpkins.org/

Fall Foliage Festival
The Concrete Chamber of Commerce hosts this fall color festival on Oct. 9-10, inviting drivers to navigate the “Magic 30 Miles” along the North Cascades Highway, from the outskirts of Sedro-Woolley to the Rockport area. The event highlights the changing colors of the leaves and places along the way. Participating this year are the Eagle Haven Winery, Challenger Ridge Vineyard and Cellars, The Valleys Buzz, Concrete Heritage Museum, and Glacier Peak Winery. A musical performance by the Honeybees will take place 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Concrete Theatre on Main Street.

Lynden Pumpkin Festival

On Oct. 9, the Lynden Pumpkin Festival celebrates local agriculture and seeks entries from area growers to display giant pumpkins. Participants compete for the “Heaviest Pumpkin” with cash prizes awarded to the top three pumpkins. Registration for the festival is free, and both kids and adults can participate. Awards for the heaviest pumpkins are $350 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd place. Growers in the 12 and under class will be recognized with prize ribbons. Food vendors and more will be on site.
For registration forms and more information, visit http://www.lynden.org and click on Lynden Pumpkin Festival or call (360) 354-5995.

Concrete Ghost Walk

During the month of October, the Concrete Ghost Walk is a funway to learn about the history of Concrete. Walk about town and hear some interest stories about colorful characters from the past and visit some of the haunted buildings, while talking with locals who share their stories and theories.
This is all about fun, but keep in mind this tour in not for the young or the faint-hearted. The cost is $10 per person, ages 18 and up.
Reservations are required by calling (360) 853-8767 or e-mail chamber@concrete-wa.com.

Red Rooster Route’s Fall Festival

Visit four unique family farms during the Red Rooster Route’s Fall Festival on Oct. 16-17. Garden Treasures, Biringer Farm, Foster’s Pumpkins & Corn Maze and Ninety Farms will open their gates from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for some Halloween fun.  Costumes are encouraged. This special two-day fall festival is a treat for all ages.  Lots of fall fun, treats, kids activities, pumpkins, corn maze and more.
For more information, visit http://www.redroosterroute.com/Events.html

Other festivals will be updated here on our website (www.grownorthwest.com). Event information should be sent to info@grownorthwest.com.

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