Fall Festival 2014: Celebrating Food, Farms And Family
After four weekends full of blue skies, hay rides, pumpkins, laughing kids, great food, and new friends, the Freedom Farms Fall Festival came to an end last Sunday. This year, the Kings expanded the festival, opening every Saturday and Sunday in October.
Fall Festivals are a longstanding family tradition for the Kings.
“When I was growing up, I couldn’t wait for the Fall Festival.” says Joe King. “It was always sad to go back to school after spending summer on the farm with my brothers. Then, the Fall Festival time would come, and the weekends were so packed with activity that they always felt like a mini-vacation. Our driveway was a quarter mile long, and it would be packed all weekend with car after car coming down to the lane, headed to the farm.”
This year, the gravel driveway leading down to the brand new Freedom Farms Event Center was packed with cars, as people came from far and wide to experience fall on the farm.
“Everybody wants to spend time on the farm in the fall,” says Joe. “Many people remember that their grandfather or uncle used to have a farm, so they come out to our farm together to show the younger generation where they came from. We love to bring the farm experience into the present, and show people where good food comes from. Our festival is a great way to get entertained, jump on a hayride, pick out a pumpkin, and kick off the holiday season with our farm fresh food on the table. I love seeing families come together to share the harvest. It’s time for memories to be made and shared, great food for eating, and kids having a blast. Kids love running on hay bales, and kids love tractors.”
While the King kids were growing up, they not only spent the Fall Festivals working and playing together, they would dress up and, under Lisa’s direction, perform plays for their guests.
“One of the things that I think drew people to attend our fall festivals were the plays.” says Lisa King. “I had all the kids dress up in a theme and perform plays every half hour. One year we did the Wizard of Oz. I remember Peter and his friend were dwarves. Lukey was so little he couldn’t talk, but he could sneeze, so he was Sneezy.”
This year, there were no plays, but there was story time twice a day, and on the last day of the Festival there was a grand costume contest. Joe and Tim King judged the contest, and awarded prizes for the four best costumes.
Spending time together as a family is always important to the Kings, especially at harvest time.
“I love hosting the Fall Festival because it gives us so much time together as a family.” says Joe. “At Freedom Farm we work hard all year long, but we’re often working in separate locations. The Fall Festival was a great opportunity to spend time together as a family working and celebrating the great harvest we had this year.”
The Festival will return next year with hay rides, a pumpkin patch, a maze, and a wide variety of children’s activities and fun for the whole family. Of course, Lisa’s soups will be available, along with a wide variety of seasonal favorites including fresh cider, cider donuts, sandwiches, barbecue and sweet corn.
Lisa spent most of the Festival cooking and serving food, so she’s ready for a rest, but she has a message for all her fans.
“If you attended our festival this year, thanks so much for coming! It wouldn’t be a festival without you” says Lisa. “If you missed us this year, come see us next year. I’ll be cooking!”
Written by Kate Stapleton
Photographs by Kate Stapleton and Megan Thomas