Carroll County Times

Fall Harvest Days at Farm Museum balances old-time traditions with modern entertainment

When the Carroll County Farm Museum opened in 1966, its first event was held the third weekend of October, and called "Fall Harvest Days" as the museum attempted to showcase some of the farm life skills that were standard practice in the olden days at harvest time.

The Farm Museum has continued to hold Fall Harvest Days as an annual event, though had scheduled the event for earlier in October in hopes of attracting more people during the warmer weather.


However, in light of increased competition for fall-themed events in early October, the Farm Museum has decided to move their event back a week, and Fall Harvest Days will be this Saturday and Sunday.

"Everybody and their brother were having fall harvest days, so we just wanted to make ours unique and put it back to the time when the farm museum first opened," said Dottie Freeman, park superintendent at the Farm Museum.


The Farm Museum's event focuses on old-timey life skills, and will have artisans demonstrating some of these talents, such as quilting, chair caning, spinning, broom making, blacksmithing, wood carving and more.

Some of the child participants from the Farm Museum's Living History Camp will be coming back to demonstrate tin punching at the festival, Freeman said. And the Mason-Dixon Historical Society will demonstrate threshing on both days as well.

Volunteers will be in the summer kitchen making apple butter on the open hearth, she said, but they will not be able to sell it due to regulations by the health department. Attendees will be provided with a recipe for making their own apple butter, she said, and will be able to purchase apple butter made by a local orchard as well.

Children and families can enjoy making cornhusk dolls or make a scarecrow to take home with them. There are also several old-fashioned games, such as Ring the Gourd and Sweet Potato Toss.

New this year, Fall Harvest Days will feature a costume parade and contest on Sunday. Prizes will be given to the best homemade costume, most creative, and funniest costume, Freeman said.

"I've seen the [Westminster Halloween] parade, so I know there's a lot of creative people out there," she said.

After the parade at the Farm Museum, participants can get a treat bag and visit Treat Alley, where some of the food and craft vendors will be giving out treats to the children.

"Basically we wanted to add a little bit of the old and some of the new," Freeman said of this year's festival.


A returning favorite this year is the corn cannon, where participants can purchase some corn cobs and shoot them at targets.

The event will have continuous entertainment both days, with everything from folk to country music, a magician show on Saturday and two clogger groups on Sunday.

"We're just hoping for a really nice crowd and beautiful weather," Freeman said. "It will probably be chilly ... wear your coat, put your hat on, wear some gloves and come on out and have a good time on the farm."