Upper Arlington News

Chili contest, cider pressing and more at Fall Fest


A chili cook-off, hayrides and pressing apple cider the old-fashioned way will be among the festivities later this month when the Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department hosts its annual Fall Fest.

The seventh annual Upper Arlington Fall Fest will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at Fancyburg Park, 3313 Kioka Ave.

The event, which last year was expanded from three hours to four, seeks to bring the community together in a celebration of autumn.

"The city believes that events of this type build a stronger, more connected community," city Recreation Supervisor Cheryl Hyatt said. "Fall Fest is also one of our quarterly special events designed to enhance public awareness of the services and programming offered by the parks and recreation department.

"Our department's tag line is, 'We make fun happen' and this event epitomizes fun."

A centerpiece of the annual festival is the Huffman's Market Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by Huffman's Market, 2140 Tremont Center. Individuals or teams may enter the competition, with prizes and bragging rights on the line to see who makes the best chili in Upper Arlington.

"All chili entries will be available for public tasting," Hyatt said. "Registration is free and online at uaoh.net."

Hyatt said other activities will include pressing and tasting apple cider, pumpkin carving, face painting, inflatable games, making caramel apples and fall-themed arts and crafts, including making Ohio State University Buckeye necklaces.

Attendees who bring an extra shirt, pants, hat and other accessories also can create their own scarecrow, with the city providing a frame, stuffing and head materials. There will be a shelled corn pit for toddlers, a "hippity hop corral," hayrides, spin-art T-shirt making, live music and balloon sculptors, as well.

"We will have the Columbus Community Angels Double Dutch Jump Rope Team on hand to help with teaching attendees Double Dutch jumping techniques," Hyatt said. "We'll also have kettle corn, lemon shake-ups, snow cones, burgers, hot dogs, beverages and other tasty treats.

"There is no admission cost," she added. "There are minimal fees for some of the activities. I try to keep costs to a minimum so it is affordable for families."

Fall Fest will be held rain or shine. However, some activities may not be offered in the event of inclement weather, said Hyatt, who added it's an event for "everyone."

"Young and old alike," she said. "Our inflatables are capable of handling toddlers to adults and the banjo player has everyone from 2-year-olds to 82-year-olds dancing.

"Families enjoy hayrides through the park and all of the activities span generations. Who doesn't like making a caramel apple?

"We have families that plan birthday parties and their 'party' is to bring all the kids to Fall Fest," she said." Last year, we had two or three different birthday parties at Fall Fest. People call in advance to get dates and a line-up of activities at our special events so they can plan their birthday parties."

Weather updates on the day of Fall Fest will be available by calling the Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department hotline at 614-583-5345.