MCCONNELLSBURG >> With leaves changing to red and gold and temperatures dropping, now is the perfect time for a change-of-season celebration, and Fulton County is putting on a big one this year — the 42nd annual Fulton Fall Folk Festival.
The three-day event will be county-wide, with venues from Burnt Cabins to Needmore, Hustontown to Harrisonville, and more. The festival is so spread out and so packed with activities that it seems as if everyone who lives in the county is involved in some way, with demonstrations, food, sports, crafts, art, car and gun shows, historic tours and a special treat for youngsters.
Superheroes such as Captain America, Batman, Iron Man, Elsa from Frozen and the Black Widow will visit with kids from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the McConnellsburg & Friends Alumni Building, 301 East Maple St., McConnellsburg. Pictures can be take with a favorite for $5, and check out the raffle to win a piece of superhero-themed furniture. The odds are good, as only 150 tickets will be sold.
Many businesses will offer festival sales, restaurants will serve daily specials, and for shoppers there will be antique malls, flea markets and craft vendors.
"The Saturday morning parade is one of the biggest draws," said Sue Cauffman, executive director of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. "It takes two hours or more, starting out with antique cars, then tractors interspersed throughout the school bands and floats."
The parade steps out at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and follows a route beginning at the intersection of 1st Street and Lincoln Way West and ending at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, 888 Lincoln Way East.
Cauffman recommends that people come early to pick a good spot and adds that the parade will go on rain or shine.
Tractors and other kinds of farm equipment are also a major attraction. "This year International Harvester is the featured manufacturer," said Brian Helser, an 18-year member of the Grease, Steam and Rust Association. "You will see everything from brand-new tractors to ones made in the 1920s. And some very rare ones, such as the Minneapolis-Moline UDLZ, of which there are only 38 in existence."
The association will also host lawn mower races.
Food is always a festival favorite. The alumni building will feature apple dumplings, pulled pork sandwiches, ham and bean and chicken corn noodle soup, along with a variety of baked goods. Close by, the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Company, 112 E. Maple St., will host its annual ox roast; McConnellsburg VFW Post 655, 524 E Poplar St., presents a country breakfast buffet; and the Green Hill Sewing Club, 8296 Black Bear Road, Harrisonville, will provide soup, sandwiches, apple dumplings, and their famous apple butter. Fulton House, 112-116 Lincoln Way East, will feature homemade beef barley soup and other foods, and several clubs and churches will also tempt the taste buds.
Stuffed? Work off some of those calories at the Dale Gordon Memorial 5K run/walk in Needmore. Medals will be awarded in 12 categories. Or head for the exhibits at the fairgrounds with demonstrations of blacksmithing, grain threshing, broom making, lumber sawing, shingle making, and straw baling. Or visit the Fulton House Museum, 112-116 Lincoln Way East, where the Fulton County Historical Society will feature the work of local artist Charles Walker.
"We will also be selling raffle tickets for Time-Life Collectors Library of the Civil War, which reproduces many documents first printed in 1886," said Edie Coleman of the society.
The Frontier Barn Quilt Trail, a subsidiary of Fulton County Historical Society. will sell small hand painted barn quilts at The Yankee Mercantile, 15856 Great Cove Road, McConnellsburg, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday.
For both the little ones and the young at heart, there will be a petting zoo and face painting at the alumni building; a farm toy show at the fairgrounds; hayrides at Pleasant Ridge Camp, 5798 Pleasant Ridge Road, Harrisonville; and more.
On Sunday morning, various churches will offer worship services, including a major interdenominational one at the fairgrounds.
"Festival proceeds, in part, will be used to fund scholarships for a senior in each of the Fulton County school districts," said Cauffman, "so not only is this a great opportunity for family and friends to enjoy themselves, but also to help further the education of students," she added.