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Find out about the latest happenings at Spring Valley.

For more information, call 847/985-2100.

Thousands journeyed back to early Schaumburg at Autumn Harvest Festival

Oct 09, 2013
Autumn Harvest Festival Games
Margaret Josephine “Jelly” Tuscher carries a water bucket during the Junior Frontier Olympics.

A unique trip back in time was enjoyed this past Sunday at Spring Valley.

The 30th Annual Autumn Harvest Festival on Oct. 6 was the most successful with over 3,000 visitors to Spring Valley’s Volkening Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin. The 1880s living history farm and 1790s frontier encampment welcomed visitors of all ages eager to learn about early life in Schaumburg.

“The event wouldn’t have been a success without support of staff, volunteers and event sponsor Whole Foods Market,” said Dave Brooks, Schaumburg Park District’s manager of conservation services. “The beautiful fall weather and thousands of smiling faces exploring local history were great ways to mark the thirtieth anniversary.”

Visitors helped with traditional farm activities including cider pressing, making wine, milking cows and harvesting crops near Heritage Farm. Children took part in the popular Junior Farm Olympics which included finding beans hidden in hay, pushing wheel barrels and harvesting equipment, and carrying milk buckets.

The area around Merkle Cabin was abuzz with frontier-era activities including cooking over an open fire, visits inside a Native American wigwam, stories from interpreters and the new Junior Frontier Olympics.

“My 3.5-year-old daughter loves going through the activities, meeting new friends and going on the hayride,” said Paul Tuscher, who helped daughter Margaret Josephine “Jelly” through the Junior Frontier Olympics.

The Olympics let children build mini log cabins, throw corn husks through hoops, try carrying water buckets, test their balance walking on a log and play a ring toss game.

The community also chipped in with activities and refreshments.

Members of the Schaumburg Community Garden Club and Spring Valley Nature Club helped children decorate pumpkins for Halloween and make grapevine wreathes.

Adults and children enjoyed festive fall treats from Whole Foods Market, beer from RAM Restaurant and Brewery, fresh cider, donuts, root beer and corn on the cob while listening to live old-time music on two stages.

“There were fun educational activities and plenty of food for everyone at the Fest,” said Brooks.

From Hog House to Smokehouse, Spring Valley’s next event, is set for noon to 4 p.m., Nov. 3 at Volkening Heritage Farm, 201 S. Plum Grove Road.

For more information, call (847) 985-2100.

Autumn Harvest Festival Storyteller

An interpreter at the 1790s frontier encampment tells a story about a fox to visitors.

Autumn Harvest Festival Kids

Children enjoy corn on the cob after face painting near Merkle Cabin.

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