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Fall festivals: Pumpkins, frights and more

Tribute to the Vikings 50th season
Tribute to the Vikings 50th season

The fall season arrived with a vengeance (yeah, about the first week of September). But now that’s it’s officially here, we can talk about all those lovely fall activities. If you missed Take Me to the River, don’t despair. There’s still plenty where that came from.

The Fall Colors Fine Art and Jazz Festival takes place in Stillwater, in Lowell Park along the St. Croix River Oct 2 and 3. This free festival features a fine arts fair, with photography, jewelry, pottery, painting, metalwork and more. Plus they’ll have regional musicians to provide entertainment. Saturday the acts are Greg Herriges from noon to 2pm and The Sue Orfield Band from 3 to 5pm; Sunday it’s The Joel Shapira Quartet from noon to 2pm and Parasota Hotclub from 3 to 5pm. Food items will be available as well. Come on down for the day and enjoy some free music and fall colors!

Downtown Stillwater also hosts the St. Croix Harvest Fest and Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off on Oct 9 from 10am to 5pm. Last year’s winner weighed in at 1,445 pounds! This is a family activity and all ages are welcome.

On the other side of town, there’s something for everyone at Sever’s Corn Maze. This venerable corn maze has been creating the most intricate corn mazes for 14 years. This year is no different – check out the tribute to the Vikings 50th season. This year there will be Vikings tickets giveaways each weekend. There is so much to see and do here – the activities include live music, a straw bale maze, a corn pool (like the ball bin at Playland), exotic animal petting zoo, a giant slide, barnyard animals, and a pumpkin slinger. New this year are magic and wildlife shows and a pumpkin patch.

Open every Saturday and Sunday through Oct 31 11am to 6pm. It’s $11 for age four and over, kids three and under are free.

And for those who want a little more scare with their fest, check out Frightmares at Buck Hill. Their Frightmares complex includes four different attractions: the haunted mansion, Orchard Manor Dead and Breakfast; the lab gone wrong, Fright Factory; the paranormal investigation of The Bellharm-Lovejoy Asylum; and the Asylum’s burial ground, possessed by an ancient spirit to create the walking dead - Haunted Hollow.

All of these and more await you at Frightmares. The compound is open every weekend through the end of October, with Thursdays added the last two weeks. Tickets are $18 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and $16 on Sundays. Tickets can be purchased online. All four attractions are included in the ticket price. Buck Hill is just south of the Burnsville split on I-35.


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