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ColorFest: Bernheim hosts annual fall fun for all this weekend

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By Alex Wimsatt

CLERMONT – The leaves are beginning to change and that can mean only one thing—fall is here.

This weekend Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest will celebrate the season with an annual event that has become synonymous with the spectacle of nature’s changing colors.

The 16th annual ColorFest will return to Bernheim this Saturday and Sunday and everyone’s invited.

The festivities will take place Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon until five.

Last year’s event boasted more than 12,000 visitors from across the region and Bernheim public relations and marketing officer Susan Ritter said they’re hoping for another good turnout this year.  

As Ritter said, ColorFest is truly a family event with fun activities for everyone.

“It’s hard not to have fun at ColorFest,” Ritter said. “No matter what the weather is like it’s going to be gorgeous and fun. Everybody who comes out just has such a good time.”

New this year, one of Bernheim’s Artists in Residence, Heike Endemann will demonstrate her talents for all to see as she shares nature’s story through art.

Additionally, several artisans from around the state will be demonstrating their crafts and many will have their work on display for sale.

An array of retail vendors will be on hand selling their wares and there will be a variety of food vendors, including the BernheimGrill, which will sell homemade ice cream in addition to its mouthwatering festival fare and vegetarian items. Beverages will also be available for purchase.

Patrons are welcome to bring picnic lunches as well.

Live music has become a staple of ColorFest and this year’s performers include country and rock duo Porkchop & Pie, the Floyd Fork Ramblers and the Troubadours of Divine Bliss.

Musicians will perform on stage near the silos at the education center.

Kids will find lots to do and see at ColorFest, from exploring the world around them with naturalists at dozens of nature discovery stations situated around the arboretum, to meandering a hay maze, to pumpkin and face painting and arts and crafts.

ColorFest’s ever popular hayrides will return this year. Tickets are $2 per person. Ritter recommends purchasing tickets as early in the day as possible as they go fast.

Bernheim’s Scarecrow Jubilee will again be part of ColorFest. The fourth annual contest and exhibition features unique scarecrows submitted by local artists, civic organizations, school groups, volunteers, businesses and others.

All the fun, whimsical, themed and creative scarecrows submitted will be on display on the roadway near the Education Center through November 30.

Boy Scout Troop 100 will build a rope bridge for ColorFest Patrons to climb on and there will be a Tai Chi demonstration.

ColorFest activities will take place near the education center and visitor’s center.

ColorFest is a free event, however, there is a $5 fee per carload for non-members.

Anyone interested in becoming Bernheim members can sign up anytime during ColorFest.

Annual membership dues are $50 for families and $35 for individuals.

Those who sign up during ColorFest will receive complimentary coffee mugs and posters in addition to 20 percent off gift shop purchases good the day of sign up.

For information about ColorFest or becoming a Bernheim member, call (502) 955-8512 or visit www.bernheim.org.