Jack-o-lanterns, gnomes and bratwurst: LI’s best fall festivals

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When I stepped into the 10th Annual Fall Festival and Craft Fair in Smithtown, I was transported back to my childhood in all the best ways.

Watch Zach making friends and scaring people, live at the festival!


Where

St. Thomas of Canterbury Church
29 Brooksite Dr.
Smithtown, NY 11787

When

Oct. 13, 2012

Phone

(631) 265-4520

Other Upcoming Festivals

Nov. 10-11, 2012
17th Annual Autumn Art & Craft Festival
Independence Plaza, Selden

Nov. 17, 2012
Saturday Shopping Spree Holiday Boutique
115 Ryefield Rd., Locust Valley

Nov. 17-18, 2012
Artisan Fine Craft Harvest Festival
Garden City Field House

Each autumn when I was growing up, my family would venture out to a local festival where we could enjoy the specialties of the season. We would wander the rows of pumpkins in search of the perfect jack-o-lantern specimen and then my mom would reward us with a cup of hot apple cider. I was beginning to worry that I may never have a chance to relive those memories, but when I stepped into the 10th Annual Fall Festival and Craft Fair in Smithtown, I was transported back to my childhood in all the best ways.

Every place I looked I saw kids reveling in the same activities I remembered. There was a ghoulish haunted house, pumpkin painting, scarecrow stuffing and a bouncy castle. Over 80 vendors were on hand selling a cornucopia of autumnal goods. And to top it all off, there was a charitable food drive offering attendees one raffle ticket for every canned good donated to those in need.

One of the many interesting vendors at the festival was woodcarver Don Dailey. When I approached Don’s booth he was intently focused, carving one of his unique handmade spoons. Not only does he specialize in handcrafted wooden spoons but also in miniature garden gnomes, which he told me he prefers to unicorns because gnomes are in fact “real.” I learned that autumn is Don’s favorite time of year because it means his birthday is coming up. So for any of Don’s friends or family who happen to be reading – this year he hopes to get a wood lathe (hint, hint). To see more of Don’s woodcarvings visit www.sundaywoodcarver.com

I worked up quite an appetite doing all that shopping. Lucky for me there was no shortage of good, hearty food at the festival. Some of my favorites were the home-cooked corn chowder, bratwurst and old-fashioned pumpkin pie. Spending all day chowing down, breathing the crisp, fall air and getting to know the people of Smithtown reminded me of all the things I love about this time of year.

Wherever you live, I recommend visiting your local festival and supporting the food vendors, craftspeople and artisans. It’s the perfect way to be swept up in the festive spirit of autumn and the holidays of the season. Check out our list of other upcoming festivals and craft fairs in the lefthand column. And if you’re a vendor yourself, find out how to participate in next year’s Fall Festival and Craft Fair by contacting the St. Thomas of Canterbury Church at (631) 265-4520.

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