Celebrate fall: Region offers festivals to mark change of season

If you find yourself missing all the fun you had this summer, why not check out some of the upcoming fall festivals, starting with The Festival at Lakemont Park this weekend.

In addition to food and craft vendors and the park’s rides, The Festival will feature two nonprofit groups that will have displays, said park general manager Melissa Vyborny.

Mending Hearts Animal Rescue of Holli-aysburg and the Greater Pennsylvania Military Preservation Association Inc. will be on hand to educate festival visitors about their groups, Vyborny said.

Mending Hearts is a privately-funded animal rescue group run by volunteers, said Robin Bender, one of the volunteers who helps the group. Anyone who wants to adopt a cat or dog rescued by Mending Hearts should look on the group’s Facebook page, Mending Hearts Animal Rescue.

“To date, we have rescued and re-homed over 500 dogs and many more cats,” she said.

The military preservation association was started in 2007 with four local people, and now has more than 120 members in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware, said group spokesman Tom Gray.

The purpose of the group is to “honor the men and women in our military, past or present, during times of peace or times of war,” according to the association’s mission statement. The association is either supported by or works with many veterans groups including regional Vietnam Veterans chapters, Firebase Eagle of Altoona and the Pa. Army National Guard.

The group has produced shows or events in Hollidaysburg, Altoona and Bedford and would like to open a military museum by next summer in Duncansville.

Vyborny said the festival will also feature several new foods including burrito bowls, gourmet burgers, lettuce wraps, shrimp tacos and smoky pork meatballs.

Returning favorites include pulled pork, cactus tators, chicken and shrimp on a stick, walking tacos and hot sausage. And sweet treats include Amish doughnuts, fresh apple cider and apple slushies on Saturday, artesian fudge and chocolates and Italian ice all weekend.

Entertainment includes concerts by Ricky Lee, with an opening act by Ashley Albright, will perform Saturday. On Sunday, the Fabulous Flashbacks will perform on the Food Village stage.

Children can catch daily shows of Grandpa Cratchet’s Workshop, who will also tour the park throughout the weekend in his fire truck Puppetmobile.

Other entertainment includes strolling banjo player Dan Hulse, chainsaw carving by RLH Wood Carving and a clogging demonstration by the Keystone Clickers Sunday at noon.

Gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Rides open at 11 a.m. The Festival closes at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 and includes an All-Day Ride Pass. For more information, go to www.lakemontparkfun.com or call 949-PARK.


In northern Blair County, at the end of September, another festival, Harvestfest at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, also marks the end of the summer season for a local attraction, said a DelGrosso spokesman.

“It’s really the last hurrah of our season,” said Amy Mearkle, DelGrosso’s marketing and advertising director.

“Harvestfest has become a great regional fall event that’s a real family favorite,” she said.

This year marks the 28th annual festival for the Tipton amusement park. The two-day event features several returning favorite entertainers, craft vendors and food booths, Mearkle said.

Kids really like Grant Kemmerer and the Wild World of Animals that will be featured in several shows on the Main Stage on both Saturday and Sunday, she said.

Sylvia Fletcher, the Magic Trunk Ventriloquist, will also have several shows on the Tipton Creek Stage both days. Dennie Huber will be on hand both days with his magic and balloons both days on Murf’s Stage.

For adults, there’s a Civil War encampment both days and an AACA Car Show on Sunday only.

No one should go hungry at Harvestfest with several booths set up by nonprofit groups such as local churches offering soup and bread bowls, breakfast items and desserts. The event is sponsored by Pepsi, M&T Bank, Kunzler, US Foods, Pacifico Bakery, Hoss’ Family Steak & Sea and Marzoni’s Brick Oven & Brewing Co.

Harvestfest is scheduled for Sept 27 and 28. Admission is $6, which includes rides and entertainment; children under 3 are free. Park grounds open at 8 a.m., shopping at 10 a.m., rides open at 11 a.m.

For more information, go to www.mydelgrossopark.com or call 684-3538.