Fall is in the air, and one local park gearing up for its annual festival has put a new twist to an old favorite.
Mistletoe State Park will hold Family Fall Fest on Oct. 24 starting at 5 p.m. Among the planned activities is a chili cookoff, a new addition to the event.
"On the day of the festival, we'll be holding a Dutch oven chili cookoff in the park," said Marilyn Grau, a senior corps project director for the Senior Citizens Council and organizer of park programs. "Chili must be cooked in a Dutch oven at the park that day. At 3 p.m., there will be judging by a panel of judges and a 'people's award' as voted on by the general public."
In addition to the cookoff, there are plenty of other family activities. Among them will be face painting, old-fashioned games like ring-toss, bean-bag toss and apples on a string. Grapevine wreath-making and cornhusk doll-making will be offered free, but donations will be accepted.
"There'll also be a cake walk while the cakes last," Grau said. "Hayrides will be offered throughout the evening for $2, and there will be a live band, storytelling, marshmallow roasting and food concessions."
Younger children can participate in a pumpkin scavenger hunt and look for folks dressed as pumpkins, farmers and scarecrows. When participants find one of their targets, they will be given candy.
To round out the day, families will be encouraged to participate in a night hike.
"This is an easy walk for all ages where you'll listen for night sounds and sights," Grau said.
For information on this and other Mistletoe Park programs, call the park office at (706) 541-0321.
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