It’s October, which means it’s finally the holiday season. These next three months make it impossible to be bored as week after week is full of events. There’s upcoming festivals, pumpkin patches, shows, and other events to celebrate the fall season and holidays.
To help you keep track of some of the events coming up this month, here’s a list of what you can find both locally in Monmouth/Independence and what you can find in surrounding cities such as the Polk County Fairgrounds and Salem.
Airlie Hills Harvest Festival – Looking for a fun place to celebrate everything autumn? This farm has everything from a five acre pumpkin patch to an exciting corn maze. This festival starts on October 1 and lasts all the way through October 30. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday so there are many chances to go throughout the month. The highlights include a newly designed corn maze, five acres of pumpkins, a huge outdoor hay maze, hay rides, farm animals to say hi to, and a variety of other fun activities (not to mention the delicious food options). This festival is perfect for family outings, field trips, or anyone looking to enjoy a fall time vibe! It’s a fairly cheap outing too as activity bracelets are only seven dollars Monday thru Friday and nine dollars on Saturday and Sunday.
Spooktacular Bingo! – There’s nothing like a fun game of bingo mixed with a Halloween theme! Hosted by the Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, this event will be on October 29 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. so you can come in and play a couple games for a little bit or stay until you win a prize. Bingo cards are only $1 each or 12 for $10. It’ll be located at the Monmouth Independence Family YMCA. In addition to bingo, there will be a costume contest at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. as well as some additional activities for kids for one dollar each. This is a great activity to do with friends or family and there’s a chance to win great prizes (including cash)!
Polk County Fairgrounds
There are a couple of cool shows going on this month at the Polk County Fairgrounds. The first one coming up is the Polk County Coin Show. 24 coin dealers from around the northwest are coming to show you some really impressive collections. There will be type and proof coins, gold and silver, mint and proof sets, tokens, currency, ancients, and books and supplies. The event will be held on Oct 23 from 10 am to 5 pm and admission and parking is free.
The other event will be the Dallas Arts Association Folk Life Festival. If you enjoy folklife and culture, you’ll definitely want to come this event. There’ll be music, performing arts, craft vendors, kids area, ethnic food, an acoustic music jamming area, and so much more. The event is on October 29 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is $10 or $5 and 5 cans of food. There’s a lot more information about vendors, performances, and activities here.
Ford Tri-Motor Rides – For those who have a little extra money to spare and want to take a friend or date or on an amazing adventure, you won’t want to miss this opportunity. For a beautiful overhead view of Salem and the chance to be in a classic restored 1929 Ford Tri-Motor – a prime example of the first commercial airliner, EAA Chapter 292 is hosting a flight on October 6 from 2 to 5 p.m. and October 7 through 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The flight lasts for 30 minutes, with the ride itself being about 20 minutes long and is $75 ($70 if booked in advance online) for adults and $50 for kids 17 and under. This sounds steep in price, but if you have the money for this once in a lifetime opportunity then you should take part in this incredible ride.
Westminster Festival of Fine Art – If you’re someone who appreciates art and are looking for an opportunity to do just that, there’s a festival coming up. The Westminster Festival is celebrating 29 years this year and starts on October 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. and continues on October 7 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and October 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll have the chance to see a variety of artwork such as pine needle baskets, digital photography, metalwork, blown glass, jewelry, porcelain, watercolor, mixed media, and so much more. The money catch? There is none! Admission is free and open to everyone! So even if you don’t usually go to art showings, this is a perfect activity because the variety of art pieces can relate to anybody. The event is located at the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Chef’s Nite Out – Delicious non-stop food? Yes, please. This is an opportunity to sample the finest culinary creations from more than 45 local food and beverage purveyors. This event is under Marion-Polk Food Share and it’s a fundraiser to make it possible for Marion-Polk Food Share to collect and distribute nutritious food to more than 100 partner programs. That means more than 40,000 people, including 14,000 children, receive emergency food each month through the Food Share partner network. Like the Ford Tri-Motor rides, the price is a bit steep at $75 per person, but the reason that’s so is because it’s helping such a great cause! So if you have the money to spare, why not eat and drink a variety of amazing foods and beverages while saving thousands from hunger? Sounds like a win-win situation. Not to mention the entertainment of the night which is live music by the Orvil Ivie Duo and the Seymour-Baker Band. The event is on October 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Salem Convention Center.