Fall is in full swing in Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes! The weather is cooler, the trees are turning, and the hillsides are becoming alive with the shades of autumn. The season is
simply too beautiful not to have a few festivals, urging you to get out and soak in the wonder of fall in the Finger Lakes.
Falling on the perfect time to visit the region, Canadian Thanksgiving allows hundreds of visitors the chance to not only gaze at the autumn colors, but to celebrate them! With the holiday falling on Monday, October 10 this year, it provides a great opportunity for a long-weekend traveling adventure just a little south of the border. Welcome, Canadians! Come sip the delicate wonders of harvest time in wine country.
In addition to visiting world-class Finger Lakes museums like The Corning Museum of Glass, the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, and the Glenn Curtiss Museum, as well as taking in a few wineries, visitors can delight in a variety of activities at the 42nd annual Cohocton Fall Foliage Festival. Festivities kick into high gear Friday evening with a spaghetti dinner at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church and a Prince & Princess Contest at 6 p.m. at the Cohocton School. At 7 p.m., the Fall Foliage Soccer Tournament will commence at the Sports Complex.
Early the next morning, there will be a breakfast and bake sale at the Methodist Church, followed by an arts, crafts, antiques and flea market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Village Greens. During the same time, a petting zoo will be set up at Festival Walkway by the big parking lot. At noon, there will be a parade to celebrate all that fall brings to Cohocton, followed by entertainment on the Village Greens. The day will end with Spud Jug Soccer Games at 7 p.m., followed by a firework display at 9 p.m., both in the Sports Complex.
Sunday will bring with it local chur
ch services that welcome the fall festival visitors, as well as a pancake feast at the fire hall. The 5k Fun Run will commence at 10 a.m. The scenic course winds from the Cohocton Elementary School through the village before ending at the Foliage Festival. The Candy Run for kids will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Sports Complex.
With lots of great food, live entertainment, and more chances to visit the petting zoo and flea market, the final day of the Foliage Festival is sure to tantalize all the senses.
If outdoor adventure is what you crave, why not attend the Southern Tier Outdoor Show at Wilkins RV in Bath? Just $5 gets the whole family in to enjoy exhibitors, demonstrations, wildlife shows and professional seminars. Interactive activities like bow hunting will delight, as will the retriever contest, chili cook-off, youth fishing derby, hunting simulator, and tethered hot air balloon rides. The show runs from 9 a.m. on Saturday the 8th to 5 p.m. the next day.
If you just can't get enough fall fun, head to Hammondsport the following weekend for the "Grape Pumpkin Festival" in Village Square. On Saturday, October 15, the square will begin to bustle at 10 a.m. with a Dog Costume Contest and Parade. "It's always fun to see what creative ideas people come up with for their dogs and how well behaved everyone is," said Marybeth Haar, Office Manager for the Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds from registration go to t
he Finger Lakes SPCA.
"The rest of the day continues with vendors and activities in the Village Square," said Haar, "including one of the only known 'pumpkin bowling' events in the area - very cool!" A big draw of the festival is the unique "SquareCrow Contest," for which businesses and not-for-profits are encouraged to create their own "SquareCrow" to be displayed throughout the Square. In this competition, normal items such as straw hats, plaid shirts and blue jeans are banned, as well as anything else that reflects the business or not-for-profit that created it. Festival-goers vote for their favorite, and cash prizes are given out to the winners.
In addition to the creative SquareCrows, the Grape Pumpkin Festival features a donut-eating contest, pumpkin face painting, and entertainment on the bandstand. "Most of the activities are provided free of charge so hopefully we'll have some great fall weather for folks to come out and enjoy the beauty of Hammondsport," Haar said.
Whether you're a local or just visiting during your long weekend, you're sure to not only be captivated by the beautiful colors of the hills and lakes, but find satisfying relaxation in the quaint fall festivals you'll discover here. Wherever your weekend adventures take you, you'll find plenty of fall fun in the Finger Lakes.