An estimated 2,000 visitors came out for the Exeter Township Fall Festival held at the Daniel Boone Homestead on Oct. 12.
“Last year when we were planning, we were looking for a location within Township borders that could support the crowds and activities planned. The Daniel Boone Homestead seemed to be the perfect setting for a scenic hayride, and is a great opportunity to bring the community out to this beautiful location,” said Laurie Getz, Director of Communications and Community Engagement, Exeter Township.
The Exeter Township Fall Festival began in the 1990s at Community Park with the hayride costing 50 cents to ride.
“It morphed over time as a haunted attraction and moved to Trout Run. As the event continues to evolve, we try and incorporate new aspects every year. We’ve transformed the event into more of a ‘festival’ atmosphere, and are trying to have something for everyone. We really wanted to create an event that would encourage the community to come together for an afternoon of fall-themed fun, and spend some time outdoors enjoying the homestead,” said Getz. “It is a great chance to take the event back to one of its original locations, with the new aspects incorporated.”
The festival included hayrides, face painting, pumpkin patch, and a beer and wine tent. Other festival activities included barrel train rides, pumpkin painting, family photos, gladiator joust and a bounce house. New this year was beer from Angry Anvil, food trucks and live music.
“We are excited for the food and hayride,” said Tricia Cupitt of Exeter.
The festival offered several food trucks like Brocmar Smokehouse BBQ, Cherry On Top Ice Cream Sundae Truck, The Dawg Pound hotdog food truck, and Betty’s Old Fashioned Lemonade.
“We saw the event on Facebook and live close by. It was attractive because of all the activities for kids,” said Cynthia Andes, Exeter. “Favorite things for Lily (her 4-year-old daughter) was the barrel train and the bounce house. For adults we enjoyed the hayride and the vendors.”
More than 20 vendors were in attendance.
Piper Kozak, 6, of Annville, won a new book, "Moo Kitty Finds a Home" by Valerie Lee Veltre, at the Humane Society of Berks County’s Festival booth.
“I love to read!” said Kozak.
“I think she (Piper Kozak) was the most excited kid to win a book,” said Margaret Yevics, Humane Society volunteer. “The theme of the book is about finding a home and the Humane Society is also about finding homes for pets.”
Exeter Boy Scout Troop 319 camped out in tents, before and after Fall Fest on the grounds of Daniel Boone Homestead. Troop 319 sold cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar doughnuts to help fund a 2021 trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The trip will cost about $2,000 per scout.
“We chose doughnuts because they are made in a Dutch oven, similar to what you might use while camping. It gives you a flavor for what scouts is like,” said Randy Newnham, father of a Troop 319 scout.
Doughnut sales far exceeded Troop 319’s expectations. The scouts hoped to sell about 12 dozen doughnuts. Halfway through the event, the group had sold 204 doughnuts and had already made two extra supply runs. In addition to the doughnuts, Troop 319 sold candy, chips, and drinks.
The Boy Scouts also ran the gladiator joust, an inflatable game where two opponents try to knock each other from a pedestal.
The Exeter Township Fire Department’s Kids Fire Safety House and Interactive Smokehouse was in operation at Fall Fest until 3 p.m. The house is used as a tool to teach fire safety to kids from ages 3 to about 16.
“The house is good for older kids, too,” said Exeter Township Fire Department’s Matt Kunes. “Teens get to an age where they might be babysitting; we help them find possible dangerous situations to prevent emergencies from happening.”
Kunes led a group of kids through the Fire Safety house and asked them to point out anything dangerous in a mini living room, kitchen, and an upstairs bedroom. The bedroom fills with smoke and everyone needs to evacuate the house safely. Exeter Township Fire Department offered a few fire safety tips: find a safe spot to meet in the event of a fire like a tree or mailbox, fire can jump so it doesn’t need to touch something for it to catch on fire, call 911 only in case of emergency, know your address, always locate two ways out of a room (like a door and window), use the back of your hand on a door (not you palm) to test if a door is hot, crawl backwards out of a room and down steps.
Another special presentation involved a K-9 demonstration by Exeter Police K9-Unit’s Officer Joseph Ilg and K-9 Officer Iko, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd mix who is trained in narcotics detection, protection, suspect apprehension, search and obedience.
John Lee and Ricardo Osorio (owner) of Whiskers Barber Co. & Shave Parlor offered free haircuts at Exeter Township Fall Festival.
“We like to come out to local events to help out the community,” said Lee.
Exeter Arts Council brought two canvases and supplies for a Community Art Project that will be donated to the Municipal Building when completed.
“This is a community art project where everyone puts in a part to create a whole,” said Laura Biancone.
Festival guests were encouraged to use water to ‘paint’ self-bleeding tissue paper to a canvas. The Arts Council also sponsored face painting.
NorthStar United Methodist Church provided free Autumn photos.
Fall Fest proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Daniel Boone Homestead and Exeter Township Parks & Recreation. A portion of the proceeds from the beer and wine tent will benefit Exeter Community Library.