Wednesday was the first day of fall, and this Saturday the public is invited to celebrate the transition from summer to fall produce when the Farm Credit Farmers Market hosts Fall Fest.
Fall Fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the market, located behind the Maxwell Center at 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive.
Shop local at the market for fresh produce and handmade crafts, purchase mums from the Eastern Wayne High School Future Farmers of America, and enter or help judge the Kids Pumpkin Decorating Contest.
The Eastern Carolina Vintage Farm Equipment Club will have a display of antique tractors and equipment and will provide free wagon rides.
Fire trucks and sheriff’s office cars will be on display, too.
McGrady Grill and Pinky food trucks will be on site during lunch.
Mickey’s Pastry Shop will also be on site with baked goods.
“The farmers market will go until just before Thanksgiving, that last Friday, Saturday before Thanksgiving,” said Jessica Strickland, Wayne County Extension Service agent.
“But this kind of picks up on the transition from summer to fall produce, and as we transition into that, the Fall Fest when we first did it back in 2019 was a great way to kick that off going into October and November.”
Fall Fest was not held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masks are not required since the festival is outdoors, but social distancing is encouraged, Strickland said.
The festival celebrates the transition from summer crops like corn and tomatoes to pumpkins, muscadine grapes, apples and greens, Strickland said.
“So, we will have some of that fall produce,” she said. “It was a good year for the market. We saw a good turnout and participation in the market this year.”
The Kids Pumpkin Decorating Contest is open to children ages 5 to 12 with one entry per child.
Children must provide their own pumpkin and decorations. No carved pumpkins will be allowed.
Pumpkins may be painted, dressed and accessorized and should be decorated prior to entering the contest. Pumpkins should be decorated by children, but parents and caregivers may assist.
The child’s name should not be visible on the pumpkin.
Entries will be received from 9 to 10 a.m. at a large tent in the parking lot near the market. The general public will vote for their favorite pumpkin from 10 a.m. to noon.
The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m.
The prizes will be fair tickets for the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair that starts next week, Strickland said.
First place will win three tickets, second place will get two tickets and third place one ticket.
Participants must be present to win and to take back their entries after winners are announced.
Follow the Farm Credit Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
For more information, call N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wayne County at 919-731-1520.