Lake County Parks and Recreation held its 44th annual Fall Fest at Buckley Homestead County Park in Lowell, Indiana on October 9, 2022. The fun-filled fest offers its guests activities from horse and pony rides, hay rides, pumpkin painting, candle making and so much more.
Admission to the Fall Fest is five dollars with children ages seven and under free of charge.
Joe Reed, the historic facilities programmer at Buckley Homestead, noted that prices are so low due to a majority of staff being volunteers.
“You can bring your whole family out here for 15 to 20 bucks,” Reed said. “It's all volunteers and that helps us keep the price down; We try to keep prices low so everyone can have a good time."
Reed mentioned that the park is also used for educational purposes throughout the year.
“We do a lot with the school groups, especially in the Spring and Fall,” Reed said. “We have the kids come out here and try to teach them a little bit more about where their food comes from and what life is like back in the day.”
Chris Orange, property manager of Buckley Homestead County Park, elaborated more on the history of Buckley Homestead.
“We’re a 575-acre living history farm, donated by Rose Buckley Pierce,” Orange said. “It was decided upon by her siblings that they wanted all the property and buildings to be donated to the county. They wanted it to be a place where families could come.”
The Fall Fest usually takes place during the second weekend in October, and usually brings in a crowd of around four to five thousand guests throughout the weekend.
Amongst all of the various activities, the Fall Fest also has a wild west performance that was put together by volunteers who reenact what it might have been like to live in the wild west.
Jacob Cain, one of the performers in the wild west show, resides in Bloomington, Indiana. With his grandfather and father also being performers since the 1990s, Cain has been living out his childhood dream since 2013.
“I grew up watching westerns,” Cain said. “I was raised on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies. It’s just always been part of my character and I like to go out there and have fun with my friends and family; I like seeing the faces in the crowd.”
Along with the entertainment and activities, the Fall Fest also has a variety of vendors such as birdhouses and cutting boards, handmade soap, all-natural honey, caricatures, and puppies from Harmony’s Doodles in Lake Village, Indiana, just to name a few.
For Samantha Johnsten, an attendee and resident of Lowell, Indiana, it was her first time experiencing all that the Fall Fest had to offer.
“This is the first time I’ve been here and I’ve lived here my whole life,” Johnsten said. “I heard about it from word of mouth around town. I think it’s an adorable event and I am super excited to be here.”
Lake County has several parks in the area, a few of them being Lemon Lake, Stoney Run, and Oak Ridge Prairie. The parks offer an abundance of things to do ranging from bicycle trails to golf programs and dog parks.
The parks are always looking for people who would like to volunteer at the parks as well as events such as the Lake County Parks and Recreation Fall Fest.
For more information on how to become a volunteer at Buckley Homestead County Park, send a message at www.facebook.com/BuckleyHomesteadCountyPark.
For more information on Lake County Parks and Recreation, visit www.lakecountyparks.com.