Autumnfest and other festivals fill Seven Springs with activities
BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
Autumnfest is once again taking place at Springs Mountain Resort, and everyone is invited to drive to the mountain and enjoy four fall-themed weekends of family fun.
The 35th annual festival is to be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays Sept. 28 through Oct. 20.
“These four festival weekends are the ideal time to come to the mountain because you can take in all of the fall colors while enjoying great food, fun activities, live music and a huge array of artisan and craft vendors,” said Laura Argenbright, marketing and festivals manager at Seven Springs.
All four weekends are to feature children’s activities, pumpkin carving demonstrations, face-painting, hay bale maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo and pony rides, plus an opportunity for children between the ages of 4 and 7 to learn how to snowboard. Festival-goers can also enjoy live entertainment (there will be three separate stages), take advantage of opportunities to shop (more than 80 artisans will be selling items such as pottery, jams, wool capes, candles and metal fabricated items) and even hop on a chairlift ride in order to experience the fall foliage on the mountain.
The round-trip chairlift ride is approximately 20 minutes long and “provides some breathtaking views not only of the brilliant fall colors across the mountain, but also an incredibly long view of the region,” Argenbright said.
“It is both relaxing and exhilarating to take in the spectacular Laurel Highlands landscape,” she added.
Specialty “Autumnfest” events this year include NamastHay Goat Yoga (Sept. 29 and Oct. 5); Foggy Brews Oktoberfest (Sept. 28) and a Seven Springs mixology class (Oct. 12). New events this year are: a two-day Plein Air painting workshop (the weekends of Oct. 12 and 13 and Oct. 19 and 20); and a Halloween puppet show presented by Pittsburgh Puppet Works (Oct. 19 and 20).
There are three themed weekends in total: Oktoberfest Weekend Sept. 28 and 29 and Oct. 5 and 6; Chili Weekend Oct. 12 and 13 and Kids Halloween Weekend Oct. 19 and 20.
Oktoberfest Weekend is to feature Bavarian games, German food and German beer tastings. The Foggy Brews Ocktoberfest is to be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 28; ticketholders over the age of 21 can sample craft beers and enjoy live entertainment. A bonfire is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 5.
During Chili Weekend, chefs will offer a variety of chili dishes. Also happening that weekend are Hot Metal Happenings Aluminum Pour Demonstrations, which will be offered by Rivers of Steel; these demonstrations will give onlookers an opportunity to watch an aluminum cast pouring, and teach them how to create a cast aluminum object of their own.
Kids Halloween Weekend activities include a parade, pumpkin swim, mac and cheese tent, a family magic show and more.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their cameras.
“Autumnfest is a dream event for making memories and taking photos,” Argenbright said. “Our Seven Springs photographers will be available in a photobooth at the Pumpkin Patch to capture the smiles of friends and families. Additionally, photo ops are incredible throughout the festival and across the resort with the colorful fall backdrop that nature provides. Autumn foliage at Seven Springs is absolutely gorgeous and totally worth the drive for a day trip or a weekend getaway.”
Appetites are welcome, too.
“Our culinary team, led by Chef Sandro, presents an enormous Autumnfest buffet each weekend,” Argenbright said. “Seven Springs also provides the delicious chili selections for the Oct. 12 and 13 Chili Weekend, and our team of chefs will bring out their best mac ‘n cheese dishes on Oct. 19 and 20. For all four weekends, Seven Springs will provide festival tents serving one-of-a-kind tater creations, and Pastry Chef Rachel Goddard will have her team on site making fabulous crepes and pastries. We will also be serving funnel cake, fries and kettle corn because it is a festival, after all.”
Admission is free, but there is a nominal parking fee.
The entire schedule of events (including the entertainment line-up) for each themed weekend is available online at www.7springs.com/events.
An Autumnfest Lodging Package is being offered at the resort; it includes two nights of weekend lodging, one All-Day Adventure Pass per person, a breakfast buffet each morning and other perks.
“There is so much to do at Seven Springs . . . between the Autumnfest activities and the resort adventure activities, it is easy to spend two or three days to cover it all,” Argenbright said. “The two night Autumnfest package is the best way to experience all that the mountain has to offer at this spectacular time of year.”