Bluffton is celebrating the arrival of fall at its eighth annual Fall Festival. On Saturday, September 24, Bluffton will be hosting fun and activities at seven different venues. Mennonite Memorial Home, 410 West Elm Street, is the hub for all FREE transportation. People are encouraged to park at one of the venues and grab the free Horse and Wagon rides, or the buses that will take you to all locations. The buses will arrive and depart every 15 minutes from Maple Crest, Swiss Homestead, Suter's Corn Maze, Downtown and the Mennonite Home. Two horse and wagons will be taking people from the Mennonite Home to Downtown and back. (Most events run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the Health Fair running from 8:00 a.m. to noon.)
Start your day at 8 o’clock at the Health Fair located at Bluffton Family Recreation, 215 Snider Rd. You can get great information about health issues; participate in free health screenings such as; Bone Density, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Glucose, eye test and more. View Life Flight, EMS and Fire Equipment as well as a chance to win door prizes and gift baskets. For the children there is a bike rodeo, and a chance to WIN bikes. The Lion’s Club will be holding a drawing to win a 1995 Corvette with the winner beginning drawn at 11:00 a.m.
Beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Mennonite Memorial Home you will find several activities. The Service Group will be having a silent auction of beautiful handmade items, a bake sale with great pies, cakes, breads and cookies, plus lunch. The Crawfis family will be here selling their famous Kettle Corn. There is also a floral design contest where you can see lovely arrangements as well as spectacular buds and blooms. All entries will be on display for the public to view. NEW this year is a photo booth where you can have your picture taken for fun. For the children we have a horse and wagon rides, a train ride, hay dig, and more.
Maple Crest Senior Living Village, 700 Maple Crest Court off Augsburger Road, is hosting the Fall Festival Quilt Show which will be displaying numerous quilts and wall hanging in the Patio Room. This is free and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be musical entertainment at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The food features cinnamon ice cream with homemade apple crisp along with hot dogs, and more. There is also an antique tractor show with a kiddie tractor pull beginning at 1:30 p.m. and then Maple Crest is hosting a fishing derby for all ages from 2-3:30 p.m. with prizes for different categories of fish.
On Main Street in Downtown Bluffton you will find free kid’s activities, like inflatables, games, food, face painting and more. The farmers market is from 9:00 a.m. to noon, plus matinees at the Shannon Theater. Oscar Velasquez will be uptown signing prints. At the Senior Center you will find rug and quilting demonstrations along with lunch. Also downtown the Bluffton Public Library will be hosting a dulcimer gatherin’ music fest, a book and bake sale, and kid’s crafts from 9:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Take one of the free vans rides to The Swiss Homestead, 8350 Bixel Road. Take tours of the 1840’s Swiss Farmhouse, the 1854 bank barn, hear old time music, and enjoy kid’s activities, exhibits, demonstrations, Indian village, and food. There are several newly completed 1840’s era projects on the house and step inside the replica of the original Summer House, see the woodworking shop, carriage shop and new stone work detail. This is a treat for history buffs or those interested in exhibits and demonstrations such as; garden, spinning, meat smoking, roofing, wagon rides, plowing, antique farm machinery, corn shelling, chair caning, and historical books. Food will include homemade bread, popcorn and potato soup made in an iron kettle over an open fire. There will be various kinds of music throughout the day. Activities especially for children will include include a straw maze, and farm animals.
Suter’ Cider Press and Corn Maze, 12200 Putnam Rd (Road R) is where you can enjoy the corn maze. This year’s theme is “American Indians”. You can also pick a pumpkin from their fields, play some games, shoot the Corn Cannons, and see the 1888 cider press and purchase some refreshing apple cider.