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Family Fall Festival set for Oct. 7 at the Arboretum

Sharita Forrest , News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A day of fun for the entire family is planned for Saturday (Oct. 7) at the Family Fall Festival at the University of Illinois Arboretum. Children and adults can enjoy a variety of activities, contests and exhibits while learning more about horticulture.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arboretum at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and St. Mary's Road in Urbana. A tent will be erected in case of inclement weather. Visitors may park along Lincoln Avenue or in adjacent lots.

A pumpkin-painting contest will be held for children ages 5-12; prizes will be awarded in four age categories. Painting supplies will be provided; pumpkins will cost $3. Adults may compete in a pumpkin-carving contest. Contestants need to bring carving equipment.

The pumpkin contests will be judged at 3 p.m. with prizes awarded at 3:30 p.m. Winners will receive books on gardening or outdoor themes. Participants may take their pumpkins home but only the pumpkins on hand for the 3 p.m. judging will be eligible for prizes.

Other children's activities will include painting gourds and constructing bird feeders or birdhouses from gourds as well as scavenger hunting through the Arboretum.

Visitors may enjoy hayrides and guided tours of the Arboretum and gardens. Champaign County Master Gardeners will give away bulbs and will have a display about gardening with pumpkins and winter squashes.

Woodcarving displays and demonstrations will be provided by the Illini Carvers. Visitors also will be able to sample a variety of Illinois apples and learn about growing them.

The festival is sponsored by the Arboretum, the UI Horticulture Club and the Champaign County Master Gardeners. For further information, call (217) 333-7579.