Amazing autumn: City, downtown ready for fall season

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Each October, downtown Noblesville segues into the holiday season as various organizations offer a variety of events ideal for cooler autumn weather and Halloween.

This weekend’s Fall Fest, organized by Noblesville on the downtown square, will serve as the official kickoff for autumn-themed events. From 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4, the public can enjoy the annual soup cook-off, pumpkin decorating, hayrides, live music and more.

A number of popular events are returning after last year’s larger-than-expected crowds. More than 5,000 attended the 2018 Fall Fest. The annual soup cook-off, which features soup samplings from local restaurants, along with grilled cheese sandwiches made by the Noblesville Lions Club, is one of the central events.

“The entries are well above last year’s,” said Craig Crosser, vice president of the Noblesville Main Street board. “The public will participate in who will win.”

In addition to pumpkin decorating for kids, professional pumpkin carver David A. Smith, featured on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars,” will give demonstrations.

Another unique competition is the return of the annual CanStruction food drive, where teams of local architects, engineers, students, teachers, designers and others work together to create small-scale models of downtown buildings and other structures using donated canned and boxed foods. The teams will unveil the displays in local business storefronts and windows Oct. 4. The pieces will be on display through Oct. 11. The food will then be donated to local food pantries.

Downtown businesses on and near the square also will take part in the event by handing out candy to kids for a night of early trick-or-treating. Participating businesses include Old Picket Fence, Nickel Plate Arts, LittleGypsie Boutique, Lil Bloomers, Noblesville Antique Mall, Courtney’s Kitchen, Shine Yoga, Across The Pond, Logan Village Mall and All Local.

While exploring CanStruction and trick-or-treating, Fall Fest guests also can see entries for the annual scarecrow contest, which began last month and features themed scarecrows made by local residents, businesses and organizations. Learn more at noblesvillemainstreet.org/events.

FIRST FRIDAY

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4

Where: Nickel Plate Arts, 107 S. Eighth St.

What: Each month, Nickel Plate Arts hosts an open-house style event to showcase local art, music and drinks and more at its campus. This month, the First Friday event will serve as the unveiling of “Graphic & Novel,” a new exhibit that shines a light on illustrators, graphic designers and printmakers. Artist Ryan Straut will turn a model into The Joker. Nextdoor in the Stephenson House Gallery, a showcase of Christine Merchent’s photography will be on display in another new exhibit, “Ghost in the Machine.” Music will be performed by Dan Nix Music.

Cost: Free

GHOST WALKS

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 26 and Nov. 16

Where: Downtown Noblesville square

What: UnseenPress has been offering historic ghost walks in Hamilton County for nearly two decades. Tours will highlight spooky spots in downtown Noblesville.

Cost: $18/age 10 and older, $15/age 65 and older.

COMMUNITY HALLOWEEN PARTY

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 8

Where: Exhibition Hall at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St.

What: Come in costume and enjoy games, treats, hayrides, a haunted house and more at the annual Community Halloween Party from the Hamilton County 4-H Junior Leaders.

Cost: Free

POTTER’S BRIDGE FESTIVAL

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 5

Where: Potter’s Bridge Park, 19401 N. Allisonville Rd.

What: Presented by the Hamilton County Parks Dept., the festival features more than 40 arts and crafts and exhibitors’ booths, a climbing wall, food, live music and more.

Cost: Free

PIONEER FALL FEST

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 19

Where: Strawtown Koteewi Park, 12308 E. Strawtown Ave.

What: Join staff of the Taylor Center of Natural History at the park’s historic red barn for a day of pioneer fun. Guests can make a corn husk doll, fresh butter and learn about pioneer plants with community herbalist Greg Monzel, and hear a story from Bob Sanders, a professional storyteller.

Cost: Free

FAMILY HALLOWEEN PARTY

When: 4 to 6 pm. Oct. 19

Where: Federal Hill Commons, 175 Logan St.

What: Noblesville Parks and Recreation will play host to its annual Halloween party, which includes a trick-or-treat village where local businesses and organizations will pass out candy and offer kids activities.

Cost: Free.

Kids enjoy a barrel-car ride at Russell Farms during a previous fall season. (File photo)

RUSSELL FARM

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27.

Where: Russell Farm, 12290 E. 191st St.

What: Admission to the seasonal family farm includes hayrides, pumpkins, miniature golf, scavenger hunt corn mazes, a petting zoo, pedal karts, the whizzer ride, tumbleweed ride, slides slide, a bounce house for toddler, a playground area, duck races, a human hamster wheel, lasso games and more.

Cost: $12/age 3-20, $10/age 21 and older. Kids age 2 and younger are free. Free parking.

SPENCER FARM

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: 7177 E. 161st St.

What: Spencer Farm is now open to the public for its annual pumpkin harvest. Pumpkins are grown on the farm and will be available for purchase, along with Indian corn, gourds, straw bales, corn stalks and more. Each Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 31, staff will offer free hayrides to the pumpkin patch. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26, the farm also will feature a menu of local meats, with menu selections ranging in price from $2 to $4.

Cost: Free.

Aili McGilll, executive director of Nickel Plate Arts, celebrates Day of the Dead festivities at a previous year’s event. (File photo)

DAY OF THE DEAD

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 1

Where: Nickel Plate Arts, 107 S. Eighth St.

What: Annually, Nickel Plate Arts celebrates the ancient Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. Using the artistic aspects of the holiday, kids will explore Mexican art and culture by learning traditions, completing crafts and enjoying special foods. Guest costumes are encouraged, and face painting will be available.

Cost: Free to attend. $5 per craft.

TRICK OR TREATING

The City of Noblesville will hold its trick-or-treating hours from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

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