By Matt Clevenger
For Miami Valley Today
TROY — An estimated 10,000 people visited the historic Knoop homestead at Lost Creek Reserve on Saturday Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13, during the Fall Farm Fest hosted by the Miami County Park District.
“This is our biggest event,” Miami County Park District Executive Director J. Scott Myers said. “Normally we have around 8-10,000 people for the weekend.”
“People are everywhere,” he said. “The turnout has been excellent.”
Now in its 11th year, the Fall Farm Fest features wagon rides, farm animals and displays, a pumpkin patch, a scarecrow contest, live music, food and craft vendors, a corn maze, and much, much more. The free, family-friendly festival also includes old-fashioned games, kiddie tractor pulls and a kiddie straw maze.
“One of the highlights of the festival every year is the kids’ area,” Myers said. “It’s just a bunch of old-fashioned kids’ games, and simple. The two most popular things in the kids’ area are the straw pit that they can jump into and the corn box, where we just have a sandbox filled with field corn, and the kids are playing in the corn.”
The giant festival is run by a small army of volunteers who start preparing for some attractions, like the corn maze, months ahead of time.
“We have approximately 100 volunteers who help us over the two days,” Myers said.
“The corn maze is 6 acres,” he said. “You plant the field twice, once each direction, and then we hire someone who does the design. He comes in with a skid-steer, a mulcher and a GPS; he cuts the design in with the mulcher, it takes him about four hours.”
The corn maze features a different picture every year. “This year it’s the 100th anniversary of the farm bureau,” he said. “There are different areas in the maze where the farm bureau has facts about farming.”
“It’s a great event,” Myers said. “Our staff really looks forward to this every year, because of all the smiling kids.”
“One of the great things about the park district is we’re always looking and engaging with the community, and providing great events and programs for the community,” he said.
The Fall Farm Fest may be over, but the corn maze will still be available for rental, and it will also be open during the park district’s upcoming Halloween Happening, which will be held from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Lost Creek Reserve.
“Halloween Happening is a lighted jack-o-lantern hike around the property,” Myers said. “We’ll have refreshments; we have different groups who volunteer to make the jack-o-lanterns, they’re placed throughout the property. We’ll have a big display on the front porch, and we’ll have a trail that goes back behind the house.”
Sponsors for this year’s festival include the Miami County Park District, the Ohio Farm Bureau, Troy Carstar, Peak Foods, KSM Metal Fabrication, Buckeye Insurance Group, Koenig Equipment, My Miami County, Can’t Stop Running Co., Nationwide-Graves Fearon Agency, Whispering Oaks Gazebos, Sunset Meat Market, Winans Chocolates and Coffee and A.M. Leonard.