Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
By Margie Wuebker
Plenty of fun in two counties
Area fall festivals
  Crisp autumn days bring thoughts of pumpkins, falling leaves and festive events throughout the Grand Lake area.  
• The fall festival schedule kicks off this weekend with the annual New Bremen Pumpkinfest at Crown Pavilion.
Entertainment begins at 8 p.m. Friday. A full day of activities begins with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. Saturday. Other events include a fun run, 5K, Artisan Showcase, Ohio State football on big-screen TVs, giant pumpkin weigh-in, pie-eating contest and musical entertainment. Numerous stands will offer pumpkin fare and cold beverages.
Pumpkin-chucking is this year's special feature with 20- to 30-pound pumpkins being launched with the aid of a trebuchet built for the occasion.
• Wings - sweet, medium, hot and nuclear - are expected to draw connoisseurs to the Mercer County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday for Wingfest 12.
The event runs 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. both days, and includes a corn hole tournament, tug-a-truck heats, the infamous chicken chase, a 5K run and fun run, a dodgeball tournament, a golf cart race, scavenger hunt, hayrides, duck races and OSU football on big screen televisions. Bike Night will be observed at 5 p.m. Friday.
Admission is free. A $5 fee is charged for children to bounce on the inflatables. Food and beverages will be available on the grounds with vendors competing for people's choice awards.
• The 38th annual Minster Oktoberfest kicks off the weekend of Oct. 5-7 with fun and festivities at Minster Machine Centennial Park.
German music tops the list of entertainment with a veritable smorgasbord of Bavarian treats ranging from sausage and sauerkraut to cream puffs and apple strudel offered by local clubs and organizations.
The parade takes place at 2 p.m. Oct. 7 and is expected to draw more than 150 units expressing the theme Celebrating 25 Years of German-American Day. Minster Girl Scout troops and their leaders will be the grand marshals.
• Details are being finalized for an all-day festival Oct. 20 at Eastview Park in Celina. City officials are planning a fishing derby at Eastview Pond as well as flag football, corn hole tournaments and a punt, pass and kick competition.
Buckeye football fans would not miss any action as planners want to offer game coverage on big screen TVs. Other activities in the planning stages include hayrides, a straw maze, face-painting, live music and food.
• A panorama of autumn color is expected for the annual Walk with Nature in St. Marys. The event, sponsored by Heritage Trails Park District and the St. Marys Kiwanis, is 1-4 p.m. Oct. 21 along the Miami and Erie Canal towpath.
The walk begins at St. Marys Memorial Park and ends three and a half miles later at 40-Acre Pond. Shuttle buses will be available for those not wishing to make the round trip journey.
Participants also may choose to take the bus to Glynwood Road or Lock 14 Park and walk back into town. The bus stop is at the St. Marys Library parking lot.
An accompanying festival takes place during the afternoon at Memorial Park with a pioneer encampment, car show, music, food and entertainment.
• The autumn schedule winds down Oct. 27 when the Fort Recovery Downtown Merchants and Fort Recovery Athletic Boosters sponsor a Taste of Fort Recovery. The 4-10 p.m. event features food and beverages with a portion of Brick Street closed for festivities.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.   
~Albert Camus
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