Autumn – Pumpkins, Hayrides, and the County Fair

Photo by <Matthew_Hull> at (altered)

I remember a time when autumn meant hayrides, jumping in piles of leaves, the county or state fair, and pumpkins everywhere.

Going to the fair was always inexpensive fun. A few dollars got you a few rides, a funnel cake, a corndog, and maybe even a caramel apple, or some cotton candy. It was a great place to run free and ditch your parents if you were old enough. I was a big fan of the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Himalaya rides but only considered the haunted house if someone was with me every step of the way. I was never a fan of the Ferris Wheel after getting stuck atop one at Cedar Point in Ohio.

My favorite thing to do, though was go on a hayride. We didn’t have haunted hayrides back in the day because they were on all autumn post harvest season. It was always best if you had a boyfriend to snuggle up with in the cool autumn night. Our hayrides were generally taken on the public roads throughout farm country. Now, the only ones I see advertised on on private farms or apple orchards – at least around here. I once ruined my sister’s yellow mohair (or was it angora?) sweater on a hayride. She was not too pleased let me tell you. Have you ever tried to pull hay out of a loose knit sweater?

Corn mazes have become a popular attraction as well, but I have never been to one. Our weather is still rather warm for getting lost in a corn field.

We got out of the habit of carving pumpkins or even putting them on display for decoration when we lived in Florida. The heat got to them too quickly and they soon turned  into a mushy mess. I remember when I visited Vermont one year in October and they do autumn right! Everything was decorated with apples and pumpkins and hay bales complimenting the vivid fall colors.

I always liked celebrating autumn for autumn’s sake. We focus too much on holidays I think and don’t spend enough time just enjoying the season.

Do you have any special things you enjoy as a celebration of autumn? Suddenly I am craving some mulled cider.


10 thoughts on “Autumn – Pumpkins, Hayrides, and the County Fair”

  1. Living in London most of my life, we never did anything remotely like that. I have never even seen a hay ride, let alone been on one. And England didn’t really celebrate Halloween at all, until it was ‘imported’ from America in the 1990s.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. I love autumn. Growing up, my dad would take us on Sunday drives through “farm country” – We took our daughter on hayrides at a farm that drove you over to a distant pumpkin patch. You picked your own pumpkin and they waited for the next wagon. Between the two rides, they covered most of the farm. I still enjoy going to agricultural fairs.

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  3. We just returned from a walk around the neighboring town’s park where they are setting up for an Apple Festival in a couple of weeks. It was fun to see the food trailers sitting there promising fried oreos, corn dogs and funnel cakes. I could see that the carnies travel now in huge RV’s, clearly their homes, pulled by huge trucks. A step up from the old days of beat up rail cars.

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    1. Elizabeth, there is a town in Florida (Gibsonton) where many of the carnies lived in the off season. I am not sure how many people still winter there, but it was once referred to as America’s showtiwn.

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