Canal Winchester Farmers Market prompts inaugural Fall Festival

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Jennifer Carruthers of Amanda browses through a selection of sunflowers at the farmers market Aug. 29. The idea for the Fall Festival came from the success of the farmers market, according to Karen Stiles, executive director of Destination: Canal Winchester.

While the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has canceled most public events in Canal Winchester, residents will have an opportunity to celebrate the fall season. 

Sponsored by Destination: Canal Winchester, the not-for-profit organization that promotes the city, the first Fall Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society complex, 10 W. Oak St. 

“We wanted to create a fall event in this COVID world,” said Karen Stiles, executive director of Destination: Canal Winchester. “It’s going to be outside, rain or shine. It’s something for our families to get out and do.” 

The idea grew from the Canal Winchester Farmers Market, which also was held in the same location over the summer to help meet local and state health and safety guidelines. 

Stiles asked farmers-market vendors if they would be interested in participating in the Fall Festival, and many agreed to be among the 30 food vendors, artists, antique dealers and crafters who will participate. 

Several artists will be selling handcrafted jewelry, paintings, custom-made wooden boxes, bowls, wire-wrapped jewelry and handcrafted electric guitars. 

The free event also will have a Mexican-food truck; other vendors will sell ice cream, kettle corn and hot coffee. 

“I went with that core group from the farmers market, and then I started contacting other crafters, artists and more, and all of a sudden, it grew,” Stiles said. 

The historical society complex, which houses the Chaney Mill, Prentiss Schoolhouse and Queen of the Line Depot, also will be open for tours, Stiles said. 

Local artist Robert Warren also will open his studio, 75 N. High St., for tours. 

Author Ron Weaver, who wrote a book about the community called “Canal Winchester” will be on hand to answer questions and autograph copies. 

“The historical society will be selling some things, like some of the old street signs, so if you grew up on a street and want that street sign, it might be available to purchase,” Stiles said. “We’re just trying to make for a fun day to get out and do something.” 

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