The still-warm days and growing-cool nights of early fall offer the last round of outdoor food festivals. Here's a few noteworthy ones:
It's the third annual Mother Earth News Fair this weekend at Seven Springs Resort, but this will be the inaugural year for the Farmer Olympics. In this contest, local famers take on such challenges as potato-harvest scramble, tomato-trellising relay, box-building, fence-moving and farm trivia. It's all in good fun, but also a reminder that farming is physically demanding work. The fair also offers presentations, workshops and vendors focused on sustainable building, growing and living. Fair: Fri., Sept. 21-Sun., Sept. 23; Olympics: noon-2 p.m. Sun., Sept. 23. See www.motherearthnewsfair.com for more info and tickets.
In Troy Hill, thirsts will be quenched and bellies filled with wurst and strudel at Penn Brewery's Oktoberfest, Sept. 21-23, and Sept. 28-30. On tap: nine beers, including a rye IPA, and natürlich, the Oktoberfest brew. www.pennbrew.com
Take the kids out to Monongahela for Triple B Farms' annual Fall Apple and Pumpkin Festival. It begins Sat., Sept. 29, and runs through Halloween. Lots of activities for the young ones, and, of course, apples and pumpkins to pick. www.triplebfarms.com
Sat., Oct. 6, marks the first annual Pepper Farm Festival, in Allison Park. This celebration of the pepper will offer cooking demos, pepper products, chili bobbing, chili-wreath demonstrations and fresh Hatch chili peppers, from New Mexico, roasting all day. For more information, see www.reynafoods.com