By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer
ANDERSON TWP. - In a world saturated with digital this, cellular that and computerized everything, it's refreshing to find a celebration of the simple things.
Steaming mugs of cider. Delicately sewn quilts. Chrysanthemums.
This year's Cincinnati Flower and Farm Fest at Coney Island is just that kind of event. People of all ages can enjoy a laid-back afternoon filled with hayrides, hands-on exhibits and beautiful displays of fiber arts, poultry, plants and more.
The festival, produced by the Cincinnati Horticultural Society and presented by Cinergy Foundation, continues today and Oct. 11-12.
IF YOU GO
The Cincinnati Flower & Farm Fest is produced by the Cincinnati Horticultural Society.
Hours: Noon-7 p.m. today and Oct. 11-12.
Where: Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Township.
What's going on: Culinary and gardening demonstrations, folk music performances, harvest and plant markets, fiber arts displays and demonstrations, a children's trick-or-treat trail, farm animals, scarecrow displays and more.
Cost: $8; $5 ages 12 and under (includes rides). Advance adult discounts at Kroger stores.
Scarecrow auction: Some of the best scarecrows will be up for grabs in a silent-bid auction. Proceeds benefit Shriners Burns Institute.
Need to know more? 872-5194 or www.cincyflowershow.com.
"It's not just a flower show," said Judy Dominic of the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati. "It's more like a celebration of creativity."
The Harrison resident was deftly spinning wool Saturday while talking and eyeing some other displays - like rugs, needle art and mixed-media dolls.
"With everything here, it's a wonderful expression of all things fiber, as far as I'm concerned," Dominic said.
"It's that whole sense of 'Look at what we can do with just these two hands.' "
This year's festival highlight is the "Scarecrows Come to Life" display, featuring about 4,000 of the straw characters. Organizers hope the show, which depicts everyone from football players to Homer Simpson, is big enough to break the record for the world's largest display of scarecrows. (The current record is held by the village of Avonmore, Ontario, with 3,079 scarecrows.)
Eight-year-old Allee Covert of Falmouth, Ky., pitched in with the local effort this summer when she created Fred - a red-headed, denim-clad scarecrow. She and her mother, Paulena, attended the festival Saturday to hunt down their handiwork.
"It's pretty neat with so many scarecrows around," Allee said.
Other attractions for the younger set include a corn climbing wall, the trick-or-treat trail, a petting zoo and a step-by-step apple pie class.
Pets can even get in on the action with the Parade of Animals Floral Labyrinth. Visitors and their furry friends are invited to stroll through a chrysanthemum labyrinth in a animal-blessing ceremony today from 2 to 4 p.m.
Whether man or beast, the comforting sights, flavors and aromas of autumn appeal to all, say those at the festival.
"It's just nice to be surrounded by all the fall things," said Barbara Marsh, a volunteer with the Log Cabin Herb Society, who was serving up dollops of rose butter and marigold mustard with crackers.
"Everyone can come here to enjoy the harvest time."
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