Pickle people, mad scientists and goo might sound like the ingredients for a bad horror movie, but they’ll be among the makings for fun at one of several free fall festivals and fairs being held on Long Island over the Columbus Day weekend. But there’s a lot more in store at that and other events from clam chowder contests, pumpkin decorating and house tours to agricultural and homemaking displays and competitions, hayrides and farmers’ markets.
LONG ISLAND FALL FESTIVAL, HUNTINGTON
WHEN|WHERE 5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 at Heckscher Park, 2 Prime Ave. at Route 25A.
INFO 631-423-6100, lifallfestival.com
Offerings include a carnival, two international food courts, a beer and wine tent, three stages of music, vendors both inside and outside Heckscher Park, a country store, a Long Island farmers market and a mobile Dunkin’ Donuts.
For children there’ll be a petting zoo and pony rides and those “mad scientists” will give lessons in making that goo. Children can also play in bouncy houses, go pumpkin picking and decorate their pumpkins.
“It’s a fun festival — “tens of thousands per day” attend,” says Ellen O’Brien, executive director of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce. She notes that pickles of all kinds will be available from the West Hempstead-based, “The Pickle People,” and look for funnel cakes, hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken fingers.
O’Brien adds the festival usually attracts different crowds on different days.
“Friday night tends to be the big night for teenagers and 30-something-year-olds who like going to the beer tent and listening to music,” O’Brien says. “On Saturday and Sunday there’s more of a mix — everyone comes — and on Monday it’s a lot of kids and parents — the kids are off for the holiday.”
MILL NECK FAMILY APPLE FESTIVAL
WHEN|WHERE 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13, at Mill Neck Manor, 40 Frost Mill Road.
INFO 516-628-4231. millneck.org
For those who like a festival with a view, this one's held on the exquisite Mill Neck Manor property and includes tours of the stately 1920s English Tutor Revival mansion overlooking Long Island Sound that's now a school for the deaf.
“It has beautiful stained-glass windows, wrought iron fixtures and incredible artwork,” says Jillian Michaelson, director of events for the Mill Neck Foundation.
The property no longer has the apple orchards it used to have back in the day, but nine varieties of apples will be brought in from upstate New York for the festival. Apple lovers can take their pick of lots of goodies made with their favorite fruit including pie, strudel, apple fritters, candy apples, cider and batters to make apple muffins and pancakes. Children can make their own apple cider.
Michaelson adds, “There’s so much to do even on not a great weather day. There’ll be craft and technology vendors — it’s like a full day.”
MORE FALL FESTIVALS & FAIRS THIS WEEKEND
WHEN|WHERE Thursday, Oct. 10-Monday, Oct. 14 behind the Farmingdale Fire Department and along Main Street.
INFO 516-249-3710, farmingdalevillage.com
The fire department's weekend-long fair includes carnival rides, food, live music and vendors, with a street fair Saturday.
RIVERHEAD COUNTRY FAIR
WHEN|WHERE 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 in downtown Riverhead, Main Street and along the Peconic River
Visitors can see works of original artists, agricultural and homemaking displays and competitions, authors, entertainers, local merchants, food and rides.
INFO 631-727-1215, riverheadcountryfair.com
MONTAUK FALL FESTIVAL
WHEN|WHERE 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13 at the Village Green on Main Street
Montauk's annual affair includes a clam chowder contest, farmers’ market and food vendors, pumpkin decorating, beer and Long Island wines, children’s activities and live music
INFO 631-668-2428, montaukchamber.com