Another fall tradition is the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival - a fun, small-town fest that I have been going to on and off for almost 20 years. (Yes, that hulk you see above is made entirely of pumpkins!)
The original draw for me, as a young single person, was getting outside, eating some roasted corn or other festival goodies and looking at all the original ideas the pumpkin carving/decoration contest participants had some up with.
There is a theme every year - I think this year it was "Pumpkintopia" but don't quote me on that. The entries are all separated by age but I'm always impressed by the level of creativity and effort that everyone puts into their pumpkins.
Then, after I had children the parade was just as big a draw...
My daughter made a new friend and 45 minutes later they were holding hands and walking to the parade. I love seeing how easy it can be for kids to get along like this - an hour earlier they hadn't even met and now they were pals walking hand-in-hand!
Settling in for the parade - apples in hand (picked two weeks earlier) and life was good. It was cold and very windy - notice the layers, hats and gloves - but the kids didn't mind. They had no recollection that two weeks earlier, in the apple orchard, they were wearing shorts and had red cheeks not from the cold but from the sunny and a-little-bit-humid October day.
Everyone loves a parade! My little guy didn't want to leave even though his hands were turning purple.
The car ride home was blissfully quiet - always the sign of a very good day...