6 things to do in the fall in Freeborn County

Published 9:00 am Sunday, August 26, 2018

By Bethany Tennis

As we say goodbye to summer, we welcome in the brilliant images of fall. Autumn days fall by as fast as the leaves from the trees around us. Freeborn County is full of events and activities for all to come and take part in. Before the first snowflake falls, make sure to experience fall  in Freeborn County.

1. Celebrate fall at Autumn Blaze

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Gather with the community for this exciting downtown street festival. Broadway will be filled with a variety of arts, crafts, assorted food vendors and children’s activities. There will be live music and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. The festival will take place Sept. 22 in Albert Lea. No matter what age, you will be able to find an activity you can enjoy. This celebration has become an annual event for the Albert Lea community. Celebrate the fall with family and community at Autumn Blaze.

2. Pick up a pumpkin

Attending pumpkin patches is a popular fall activity. Stables Sweetcorn and Pumpkin Patch in Albert Lea and Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch on the Freeborn and Mower county line are hot places to be in the fall months. Stables Sweetcorn and Pumpkin Patch has top-of-the-line sweet corn. Many people enjoy picking out locally grown pumpkins from their variety of sizes and types of pumpkins. You can pick up a pumpkin from Stables Pumpkin Patch every weekend from noon to 5 p.m. starting Oct. 6.  Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch will open Sept. 23 through Oct. 31. There are many activities for visitors to do at the pumpkin patch, including wagon rides, picking pumpkins and more. While parents explore the shop in the barn, children can enjoy the silo slide outside. Fall is the best time to pick out your favorite pumpkin and explore the local pumpkin patches.

3. Step back in time at the Big Island Rendezvous

The 2018 Big Island Rendezvous is set to kick off in October. Education Days will be Oct. 4 and 5 and public days will be Oct. 6 and 7. Bring your family to see history come alive. Experience the fur trade period, Native American tipi tours and many Early American crafts such as woodworking, blacksmiths and candle making. You will be able to purchase period wares, taste authentic cuisine and experience the sights and sounds of history. Gates open at 9 a.m. each day. Tickets are $14 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 11 and free for children 5 and under. Family passes will be available for $30. The Big Island Rendezvous is a great place to learn more about the history of America with family and friends. This fall activity is one you won’t want to miss.

4. Explore the outdoors

Freeborn County has many trails, campgrounds and parks that can be utilized by the community throughout the fall months. The Blazing Star Trail is one of many that can be used for biking and walking with family and friends. The trail leads around a portion of Albert Lea Lake where you can enjoy the scenery and beautiful weather fall has to offer. The trail connects to Myre-Big Island State Park — another great spot to walk on trails, camp, bike and explore. Enjoy the vibrant colors of the trees and nature that surround you. The park’s prairie, woods and wetlands are home to a variety of different animals. A popular event for people there is to watch the fall migration of birds. Camping is another way to spend quality time with your family and friends. Fall nights are a great time to have a bonfire and roast marshmallows underneath the night sky. Hickory Hills campground and the Albert Lea/Austin KOA are a few other spots to explore the outdoors.

5. Kolache anyone?

The annual Czech Fest will take place Sept. 8 and 9 at Brick Hall near Myrtle. Brick Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places because of the age and importance of the building, which is on Freeborn County Road 30, three miles north of Myrtle. Come experience Czech culture and food with your family and friends. The festivities will start at noon Sept. 8, featuring food, dancing, baked goods, children’s activities and music by Mollie B and the Jim Busta Band. There will also be a silent auction filled with Czechoslovakian items. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. On Sunday, the festivities will continue with a church service with the Rev. James Krikava. Krikava is the head of Missouri Synod Lutheran missions in Eurasia and Asia. The service will be followed by a traditional Czech meal and more music and dancing. The proceeds of the festival will go toward the restoration of the 109-year-old Brick Hall.

6. Experience life of bygone days

The Freeborn County Historical Museum’s mission is to preserve the history of Freeborn County. People will be able to see pieces of that history during the annual Autumn in the Village this fall. The celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Historical Museum. There will be live music in the church, along with multiple other activities. People will be able to experience corn shelling and grinding, rope making, and weaving and spinning. The children’s learning lab will have activities for families and children all day. The village’s woodworking shop, photography shop and schoolhouse will have demonstrations for people to participate in. Lunch will be available for those attending. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $2 for students 12 to 18 years of age and free for children 11 and under.