Colorfest set for weekend at Bernheim

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By Mallory Bilger

CLERMONT — All the splendors of fall will culminate this weekend at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest’s annual ColorFest fall festival.

The family-friendly event will this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. The festival highlights the 14,000-acre forest’s many natural attractions including the changing foliage and wildlife.

Along with the natural attractions, festival goers can look forward to the first-ever Scarecrow Jubilee. Scarecrows individually made from recycled and unusual materials will be on display throughout the park.

Susan Ritter, Bernheim’s director of marketing and development, said the scarecrows were made by the forest’s employees and volunteers. If the fall characters are a popular attraction, Ritter said the forest will create a public scarecrow-making contest next year.

“We’re looking for really fun, creative, just some unusual scarecrows to get out there,” Ritter said. “We started small this year but we’re planning to open it up to the public next year. We’ve gotten some really neat scarecrows in. All are individually made, and a lot of them out of recycled materials.”

Other attractions include live music, $2 hayrides, a ping-pong ball toss, arts and crafts displays, pumpkin painting, face painting, a bean bag toss, wildlife education, animal demonstrations, squirrel feeding, a hay maze and more.

Ritter said Bernheim’s horticulture team will be on the prairie demonstrating how prescribed fires are conducted. Prescribed fires are used to dispose of excessive dead vegetation and revitalize forest ecosystems.

She said some of the forest’s fire equipment will also be on display.

Ritter said families should come hungry because there will be lots of food selections provided by The Bernheim Grill, Farm to Fork and more.

“We will have some really great food,” she said.

Ritter said Bernheim is expecting to entertain more than 7,500 people over the weekend for the 13th-annual ColorFest.

ColorFest is free with admission to the park. Admission is free for park members and all others are $5 per carload.

For more information, visit http://www.bernheim.org/ColorFest2008.html.