New Albany residents will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate the arrival of fall over the next two weekends.

New Albany residents will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate the arrival of fall over the next two weekends.

The fourth annual New Albany FallFest is scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2, while the New Albany Arts Council's Harvest the Arts Festival is slated for Oct. 9.

For the first time, FallFest will be held on Friday and Saturday.

"This is the first year we are having it for two days," said Ron Kendle, president of the New Albany Community Events Board. "We're trying to bring the community and the schools together and increase attention to fall sports."

By expanding the celebration to Friday, Kendle said, the festival is tying into the school's homecoming celebration. A pep rally and carnival rides will open on Market Street at 4 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Market Street will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30 and reopen at 6 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3. During the three-day road closure, Market Square businesses can be accessed through the northeast entrance by the New Albany Post Office and the west entrance by Rusty Bucket. Keswick residents will be able to enter off Market Street on the west side.

A homecoming parade will lead fans to the high school football stadium on Fodor Road, where the New Albany Eagles will play Olentangy Orange High School. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.

Back on Market Street, a beer garden is slated to open at 6 p.m. and an '80s-style band named Stiff Kitty will perform from 8 to 11 p.m.

Saturday's festivities run from noon to 11 p.m. on Market Street.

A 9-by-12-foot screen will show the Ohio State Buckeyes' game against Illinois at noon, Kendle said, and other other Big Ten football games will be shown throughout the day.

Food vendors will also be on site, and rides and children's activities will run throughout the day. Kendle said the children's area includes pumpkin painting, a maze, sack races, a balloon toss and a balloon house.

The annual "Battle of the Bands" runs from 1 to 3 p.m. Last year's winner was New Hollow a local trio of teenagers, formerly known as Monkee Hollow, that recently opened for American Idol runnerup David Archuleta at the New Albany Classic Grand Prix Invitational and Family Day on Sept. 26. Each year, the "Battle of the Bands" winner performs at the village's Fourth of July festival. To register for the competition, bands should e-mail Sandi Blunt sblunt@yahoo.com.

For adults, the pumpkin recipe contest is growing and becoming a new tradition during FallFest, Kendle said. He said the main ingredient for the recipe must be pumpkin, and in past years, organizers had everything from pumpkin chili to pumpkin cookies and cakes. Entries must be dropped off Saturday morning near Starbucks and judging will take place at 4 p.m. The winner will receive a $50 gift card from Kroger.

At 5:30 p.m., residents will be encouraged to show their talents during a talent show.

"You can sing, dance or read the phone book," Kendle joked.

The evening concludes with performances local bands, including Stone White Delicates and Ageless.

FallFest is organized by the New Albany Community Events Board with sponsorship from Fifth Third Bank, AEP and Kroger. New Albany Village Council on Sept. 21 agreed to waive $4,525 in fees for the festival to provide police protection and other services.

Kendle said several local businesses and organizations also provide support for the festival, running events and providing volunteers.

Admission is free. More information is available at www.newalbanycommunityevents.com.

The Harvest the Arts Festival, a 17-year tradition in the village, takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Doran's Farm Market, 5462 Babbitt Road.

The harvest festival is organized by the New Albany Arts Council and brings back old traditions from New Albany's earlier years, according to organizers.

"It's a more traditional, historically-based, old-fashioned harvest festival," said Janis Nelson, one of the organizers.

Animals, old tractors and farm implements and other items and activities from yesteryear, such as candle dipping, apple butter-making and black smith demonstrations will also be included, Nelson said.

"It's those kind of pioneer crafts," she said. "It harkens back to New Albany in the late 1800s or early 1900s."

Josh McKinney, another of the organizers, said even the games are reminders of the past. They inlcude potato-sack races and a cake walk.

A new event this year is the pie-baking contest. McKinney said attendees are encouraged to bring their best apple or pumpkin pie to be judged. The best pies in each category will receive a prize. Entries must be dropped of before 2 p.m. when judging takes place.

The harvest festival features entertainment all day long. McKinney said the cast of "Beauty and the Beast Jr." opens the event at 11 a.m., performing all the songs from the show held at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in July.

At noon, juggler Matt Jergens will perform, and at 2 p.m. the New Albany Chorus takes the stage. Northwest Territory, a popular bluegrass band, will perform throughout the day and Jergens will continue juggling as he strolls the grounds the rest of the afternoon.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

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