Embrace fall with festive, fun local events

Autumn Halloween pumpkins. Orange pumpkins over bright autumnal nature backgroundSo long summer and welcome autumn. It’s unofficially fall, which means our area has a variety of festive events on tap.

Coming up this weekend in Gallipolis, Ohio, is the 6th Annual Gallia County BBQ Festival. The event, hosted by the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will take place Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Gallipolis City Park and First Avenue/State Street. Admission as well as festival activities are free; however, attendees can purchase barbecue and sides from local vendors. In addition to tasty food, there will be face painting and inflatables for children.

In Meigs County Ohio, don’t miss the Racine Party in the Park, which kicks off this Thursday and runs through Saturday. The free event will place at Star Mill Park in Racine. Carnival rides, live music, a parade, car show, kiddie tractor pull and many other activities are on schedule.

The Annual Jackson Apple Festival returns Sept.17-21 in downtown Jackson, Ohio. As usual this area tradition will feature a great week filled with entertainment, music, food, parades, crafts, and competitions, including apple bobbing, of course. The Ohio University Marching 110 Drum Line will perform 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. And though you won’t find it on the schedule, we’re also told by festival organizers that on Wednesday the top-ranked cornhole player in the nation, Cody Henderson, will be stopping by for a friendly game and meet and greet with festival goers. If you want to get a jump start on Apple Festival fun, stop by our OVB Jackson Office to check out 2018 Little Miss Apple Festival Jadyn Dunkle’s display

In Meigs County, Ohio, hop on over to Pomeroy for the Sternwheel Regatta. The regatta kicks off Thursday, Sept. 19, with a special firetruck parade. In addition, the event features “Rally by the River,” which will include live entertainment as well as competitions and children’s activities.

Celebrate the Mothman legend in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Sept. 21-22. The 18th Annual Mothman Festival is always a hit as it draws visitors both locally and across the country. The event features a variety of entertainment and vendors. The Mothman 5K will get things started on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 a.m. in downtown Point Pleasant. Race check-in will take place 7 a.m. at the Mothman Museum. Mothman hayrides will return 7 p.m. that evening at the West Virginia State Farm Museum.

Gallipolis will host The Emancipation Celebration Weekend Sept. 21-22 at the Gallia County Junior Fairgrounds. This year’s keynote speaker is Ric Sheffield, professor of legal studies and sociology at Kenyon College. The celebration weekend also will host activities for kids, which will include an appearance from Paw Patrol characters.

In Huntington, W.Va., music enthusiasts should check out the 4th Annual Funktafest Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Ritter Park Amphitheater. The one-day musical festival runs from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Musical styles ranging from top funk, jam and reggae will be showcased.

October brings more festival fun to the area starting with the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton. The event is slated for Oct. 3-5 and will take place at West Virginia Pumpkin Park. The festival, which began in 1986, is one of the largest fests in the state. More than 100 skilled artisans will display crafts and there will be a variety of exhibits and demonstrations, including blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and wood working.

The Beaver Oktoberfest is back Oct. 4-6 in the village of Beaver, Ohio. Come out and celebrate the region’s German heritage. Rides, crafts, and great food abound during the weekend, all leading up to the Sunday Parade.

Fall fun continues in Point Pleasant with the Annual Battle Days Festival Oct. 4-6. The event features a variety of historical re-enactments and demonstrations. Activities will take place on Main Street and at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. A parade is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 5. Also on tap Oct. 5-6 in Point Pleasant, is the Country Fall Festival. The event, which takes place at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, boasts a variety of fall-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. From demonstrations to delicious apple butter making, this is an event that will surely get you in the autumn mood.

In Gallipolis, the River Rat Beer and Music Festival returns to the City Park Oct. 5. The festival, which runs from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., will feature an impressive slate of performing artists and craft beer lineup. Food vendors from around the Appalachian region also will be on site.

The Bob Evans Farm Festival will return for the 49th year Oct. 11-13. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the festival is $5 for adults, while children ages 5 and under get in free. The event, which is a staple in Rio Grande, Ohio, is a great fall, family festival. From rides and crafts to festive food and demonstrations, the event is jam-packed. Live performances and shows are also on schedule. In addition, representatives from the Columbus Zoo will be in attendance to show six to eight animals. For a full schedule of events, visit www.bobevans.com.

Also during that weekend, check out the Bristol Village Fair, held Oct. 11-12 at Bristol Village in Waverly, Ohio. This free event features art and crafts ranging from handmade jewelry to toys to quilts. The fair is open Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon.

On Oct. 26, the Harvest Fest/Tales in the Tavern event will take place in Point Pleasant at Krodel Park’s Fort Randolph. Historical re-enactments are scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Also Halloween enthusiasts won’t want to miss seeing the iconic Pumpkin House in Kenova, W.Va. Oct. 25-26. The unique house, which has gained national attention the past few years, is decorated with more than 3,000 carved pumpkins.

For more information on autumn events in your community, contact your area chamber of commerce or tourism center. Be sure to check back here next month as we keep you posted on area Halloween events. Remember to think Community First as you enjoy this lovely fall season.

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