Dayton Upfront

 Dayton Upfront

Fall Farm Fest highlights scarecrows Eric Spangler

Attending Miami County Park District’s Fall Farm Fest is a “no-brainer” for those who adore scarecrows and family fun.

That’s because one of the highlights of the 11th annual event, set for Oct. 12-13 at Lost Creek Reserve & Knoop Agricultural Heritage Center, 2385 E. state Route 41 in Troy, is the annual scarecrow contest, says J. Scott Myers, executive director of the Miami County Park District.

He says about 30 to 40 groups, organizations, businesses and families create scarecrows on posts lining “Scarecrow Lane” and vie to be crowned one of the top creations in several categories by the voting public.

“People get very elaborate,” says Myers. “I mean they really go to town on these things.”

He says the scarecrows are a great opportunity for groups, organizations and businesses to advertise and have a fun activity for their employees at the same time. “We’ve done that since the beginning and it’s a pretty cool deal.”

The rest of the events at the Fall Farm Fest are pretty cool as well. Agricultural-oriented activities include wagon rides, old-fashioned children’s games, pony rides, corn maze, corn shooter, horse and sheep demonstrations and kiddie tractor pulls, just to name a few, he says.

There’s also live music both days, lots of food for those who get hungry during the event and a pumpkin patch, courtesy of Fulton Farms, for those who want to grab an orange member of the cucurbitaceae plant family to carve at home, says Myers.

The Fall Farm Fest is the Miami County Park District’s largest event, he says. “We’ll get anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 people for the weekend,” says Myers. “It is our biggest event of the year.”

The reason for the popularity, he says, is because the event is family friendly. “It’s an event for all ages,” says Myers. “You have grandparents with their kids and their grandkids … three generations of folks wandering through everything making it a tradition, something they do every year and for everyone to enjoy.”

The Fall Farm Fest celebrates the county’s agricultural heritage, he says. And there’s no better place to conduct the event than the Lost Creek Reserve & Knoop Agricultural Heritage Center.

That’s because the facility, which consists of a total of about 456 acres, includes a working 200-plus-acre farm. Much of the land, 1883 Victorian house and barns were donated and bought from the Knoop family, whose five generations farmed the property since about 1800, says Myers.

“There’s a lot of historical structures, a lot of history with this property,” he says.

Admission to the Fall Farm Fest is free, including parking, says Myers. Most of the activities are free, except for certain ones such as the pony rides, food or the corn maze, says Myers.