Ranch cities fall events
By Tatiana Ambrosio
Area events and festivals are starting to return to the calendar for the fall, and new farms and establishments are also bringing new events.
St. Thomas Aquinas has its annual Fall Festival returning on Sept. 25-26 after canceling the event in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Suzanna Oliver, chairperson for the festival, estimated that attendance is approximately 700 people throughout the two-day event.
On the evening of Sept. 25, the event will kick-off after the 5 p.m. mass. It will include a boxed dinner for purchase and live music for patrons to enjoy.
Oliver explained the Saturday evening kick-off is a way of including the elderly members of the congregation that may not make it on Sunday.
“It gives them a chance and a feel to come out and just have a small dinner and sit around and listen to the music.”
On Sept. 26, the festival will begin at 11 a.m.
The festival will have indoor and outdoor elements. People will be able to enter the Hall to enjoy shopping at a Country Store, a this-and-that store and a sweet shop. Items sold from the store were made and donated by people in the church.
Several types of foods will be served from Mexican food in the Hall to festival foods like funnel cake and turkey legs outside.
Outdoor activities also include live music, auctions and a kid’s midway game zone.
Live music during the event will include performances from a Johnny Cash impersonator and an Elvis impersonator.
Russell and Annamiek Foster own and operate TX-Ture Farm in Cross Roads.
In conjunction with the National Alpaca Owners Association’s National Alpaca Farm Days on Sept. 25, they will be hosting an open house event.
The day will be just that, an open house.
People are welcome to visit the farm, ask questions about the herd and learn about what it takes to care for the animals native to the central and southern Andes in the North Texas climate. People are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy a “Paca-Picnic.” Some refreshments will also be sold.
On Oct. 23-24, TX-Ture Farm will host their first Gourdgeous Pumpkins Festival.
At the pumpkin and gourd centered event, members from the Dallas Gourd Patch will be teaching techniques for using gourds in arts and crafts.
“I expect to see a large presence of [the Dallas Gourd Patch] here helping people with gourd artistry, introducing them to things that they can do with their pumpkin for decoration and different ways that they can create fall crafts,” said Russell.
Russell and Annamiek said they planned their event as late as possible to be able to allow patrons the chance to learn from artists’ ideas on how to carve their pumpkins for Halloween.
“We’re planning on having thousands of pumpkins,” Russell said.
Other festivities at the event will include a hay tower mountain for kids to explore, hay rack rides and a possible scarecrow trail through a bit of woods on the property.
TX-Ture Farms will end their fall season with an out-of-the-ordinary event on Nov. 13-14.
They will host the North Texas Blacksmith Association on the farm for their first Forging Texas Festival.
The event is set to have several blacksmiths working around forges while being surrounded by chuck wagons.
“It’s going to be one of the biggest things we are ever going to pull off,” said Annamiek.
They will also have live music and artwork from the Visual Arts of Prosper at all their events.
Tickets for events can be purchased at tx-ture.farm.
Keep Aubrey Beautiful will be hosting the 35th Aubrey Peanut Festival on Oct. 2 in downtown Aubrey.
It kicks off at 10 a.m. with the return of the parade.
The festival has been in existence since the mid-eighties. However, due to COVID-19 was canceled in 2020.
Though some social distancing and food service measures have been introduced, most of the day will look the same as previous years.
The festival will include live music, food trucks, vendors and peanut-filled activities. All festivities will be centered around Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Aubrey.
Fortunata Winery is hosting their annual Winestock Oct. 15-17.
Winestock is billed as an event for people to enjoy wine and live music all weekend long. Patrons can come and go or decide to spend the weekend “glamping” in one of their villas or campsites available.
Aside from music and wine, there will also be food trucks and a chance to shop vendors. Reservations can be made through their website.
Team Family Farms opens its gates for its 6th annual pumpkin patch on Sept. 25 and will be in operation through Nov. 7.
Patrons can enjoy a day of fun feeding farm animals, picking out pumpkins, photo ops and games. There will also be train rides for kids, playground areas, a giant pipe slide, human hamster wheels and a hay maze.
“I call this the rustic wonderland,” said Scott Logan, also known as Big Tex around the farm.
“We just wanted to create a fun place where people could unplug and relax and have fun together and make memories.”
Team Family Farms will now be open on Mondays. Logan said due to demand they decided to open the extra day.
Some other notable happenings around the area are the Moon Phases Campfire being held on Oct. 7 from 7-8 p.m. at the Isle du Bois Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park and the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Gunter.