Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

My Festival Top Ten

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September is always a busy month at the Arboretum.  All year we plan for our annual Fall Harvest Festival – the Arboretum’s SIGNATURE event – held the third weekend each September.  And even with a little bit of rain and a little bit of cold, it was another successful festival this year! 

After a week of putting the grounds back together (and taking time to relax during all this rain!), I’ve had time to reflect on my favorites of the weekend.  Here are my top ten, in no particular order:

  1. Did you know the festival is run almost all by volunteers?  We are so lucky to have an outstanding group of creative, hard-working volunteers!  Even with less than perfect weather, everyone kept their spirits up and threw one heck of a party!  HUGE THANKS to our festival chair, Cindy Wells, and her committee chairs (Melissa Wells, Sara Jansen, Cassie Luze, Kathy Payne, Carol Folkerts, Barbara Brown, Billie Hemmer and Linda Holmes).
  2. We had beautiful quilts donated (and made!) by Arboretum volunteers to raffle off on Sunday afternoon.
  3. AWESOME scarecrows!  I haven’t heard the final numbers, but I bet we had the most scarecrows ever this year for our scarecrow contest.  And they were fabulous! 
  4. Sunday’s festival was completely free to the more than 1,500 families and friends that attended.  What an amazing event to offer to the Cedar Valley Community!  Thank you to the festival sponsors that made this possible.
  5. Another reason we are able to keep Sunday’s festival wallet friendly is by having a special fundraising event, Wine & Scarecrows, the night before.  It rained on us most of the day Saturday and I have to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to the evening.  But then Mother Nature gave us a break and skies cleared up just before Wine & Scarecrows began.  And it’s a good thing because the pork dinner was delicious, singer Deb Flamang-Roper set the tone for an enchanting evening in the gardens and there were plenty of great items to bid on at the silent auction.
  6. All our great market vendors, food vendors, music performers and Prairie Village participants came out in the weather to help make Sunday a great day for our guests.  (I had a tenderloin sandwich for lunch and decided it was the best I had ever eaten.)
  7. Every time I walked past the petting zoo on Sunday, it put a smile on my face.  The goats, ducks, chickens and llama were so good-natured with the children.
  8. Along with the petting zoo, the Children’s Garden was filled with activities for children of all ages.  My favorites were the pinecone bird feeder, rock painting and learning about owls from Linda Nebbe.
  9. I also loved the trains running in the Children’s Garden.  Members from the Cedar Valley Garden Railway Society brought out a variety of trains to run on our tracks … even a steam engine!
  10. People came out by the carloads to support our festival.  And what a good-looking crowd they were!  I saw some of the coolest galoshes, rain slickers and umbrellas.  My favorite was two little girls running through the Prairie Village in their galoshes and bright pink tutus just purchased from a market vendor (because even in the rain, one must always look good!).

And I could probably give you another ten!  It was a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to next year.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all the volunteers, vendors, sponsors, guests and supporters that make this the best fall festival in the Cedar Valley!

See you in the gardens.

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Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

September 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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