Familiar fall colors were on display in full force on Saturday afternoon throughout Schenectady County as it celebrated Farm and Foliage Day, but one child taking part was drawn instead to the red, white and blue of the American flag.
The most popular event of the day is the creation of scarecrows at the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction. Kids were able to stuff shirts and pants with hay to create scarecrows that they could take home. The creativity of the children is always on display with this activity, said the county special events planner Wendy Voelker, but an American flag bunting she secured at a rummage sale ended up making a hilarious and popular scarecrow accessory.
“We didn’t know what they were, but we brought them just for fun and set them on the decoration table. Somebody grabbed them and made them into a cravat,” said Voelker laughing. “It was a patriotic scarecrow.”
This event was so popular that they eventually ran out of shirts to stuff, but undeterred, kids just stuffed pants. They didn’t seem to mind either, as kids clutched their half-scarecrows tightly when it was time to leave.
The Rotterdam Junction site was also home to pony rides, a petting zoo, alpacas, animal demonstrations all day long, live music from Dyer Switch Band and painting of pumpkins — 300 or so.
Pat Barrot of the Schenectady County Historical Society said the event is fun for her just because of the children. “The reaction form the kids is phenomenal,” she said.
This year’s event also ended up on a mild fall day with a bright sun in the afternoon, which came after a morning where people were concerned about freezing. “The weather was great,” Barrot said. “This was probably the best day we have ever had, weather wise.”
There were other events scheduled for the day, too, in the city of Schenectady, Glenville and Princetown. At every spot, though, was a chance to take in the sites of fall with a good mix of yellows, oranges and reds already beginning to mix into the green leaves on the trees.
In Schenectady was the Upper Union Street’s Harvest Fest, which had live music, food tasting and exhibitors. Also in the city, at miSci, the former Schenectady Museum, was the chance to make leaf rubbings and learn about the changing colors of the leaves.
There was a more rustic feel planned for outside the city, where Tuck-A-Hoe Farm provided horse-riding demonstrations and tours.
Princetown’s event was to start once the sun went down with a haunted corn maze. The haunted corn maze, presented as the “Field of Screams,” was also offered on Friday night, with entry costing $7 a person and a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.
The “Field of Screams” continues next Friday and Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.