By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Pumpkin decorating, hayrides, and a scarecrow shindig are just a few of many fun activities to be featured during Family Farms Day next month.
Hosted by Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, Family Farms Day will take place at Roberts Orchard this Saturday (Oct. 3) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The orchard hayrides will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. From face painting and crafts to hands-on activities to live music, the event offers families a variety of activities to engage in.
The event is free.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to engage together, to be outdoors, enjoy nature,” said Doreen Stickney, development and marketing director at Imagine Nation.. “It’s an affordable day to…spend some time together.”
In addition, the Roberts Orchard store will be open so families can buy pumpkins, homemade breads, pies, and apple cider donuts. On the main stage, the Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers will perform, as well as the Boys & Girls Club gymnastics team and local youth singers, and more. New this year is miniature golf and other games. The Engine 2 fire truck also will be there in addition to costumed characters. Session Woods will be participating and The Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center will include a hands-on activity. The Bristol Exchange Club will provide food.
“A lot of people come together to help make this possible,” said Stickney, extending gratitude to everyone who dedicates their time and talent to the event. “It’s an outreach program we bring out to the community that’s well-received.”
From noon to 3 p.m., a Scarecrow Shindig will take place on the farm where families are welcome to bring clothes and accessories to decorate their own scarecrow or choose from a bin of clothes donated by Savers in Bristol. The scarecrows will be judged at 3 p.m.
Stickney said Family Farms Day brought a great turnout of families last year from in and outside Bristol.
The event has continued for at least 14 years now, and even received recognition in a published article about the partnership between Imagine Nation and Roberts Orchard.
“It’s a wonderful relationship we’ve had for many years,” said Stickney. “They’re generous enough to let us host [Family Farms Day] on their property. They’re a real team player.”
This year marks the first time for Studio Education Coordinator Rachel Hadyka to experience Family Farms Day.
“The idea of the event is really exciting,” said Hadyka. “There’s a lot of things you can do with your children with very minimal costs.”
Every year a major highlight of Family Farms Day is the Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest. This year the contest will return for the 14th year, and gives children ages 5 to 15 a chance to compete for the most worn out and smelliest pair of sneakers. A team of odorologists judge during the zany beauty contest where the winner will receive $200, Odor-Eaters products and the Golden Sneaker Award. The winner also will move on to the national contest at Ripley’s Believe It or Not in New York City next March. Registrations will be accepted the day of the event from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Roberts Orchard.
“[Families] are very enthused about it,” said Stickney, adding how people who attend may not be aware of the contest. “It’s novel and a little zany.”
Family Farms Day will take place this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Roberts Orchard, located at 125 Hill St., Bristol.
Imagine Nation is still seeking community partners for Family Farms Day. Anyone who is interested can contact the museum at (860) 314-1400.
By LISA CAPOBIANCO