One of the great things about living in Southern Illinois this time of year is that there are plenty of fall festivals to attend.

One of the great things about living in Southern Illinois this time of year is that there are plenty of fall festivals to attend. Cedar Hurst, in Mt. Vernon, Ill. was a couple of weeks ago. It is an outdoor craft show held on the grounds at the Mitchell Museum. My daughter and I have attended this event for years and love to come home with homemade snowmen from our favorite vendor, an elderly lady from the Carbondale area. Crafts, outdoor music, and food is plentiful.

The Apple Festival is Sept.13 and 14in Murphysboro. While I have never been to this outing, my brother and his family attend every year without fail. There is usually a parade, various contests, and again more food!

Kunstfest is Sept. 21-22 in downtown New Harmony, Ind. This event usually has a host of antiques, crafts, and baked goods as well. I love to attend anything in New Harmony, due to the serenity of the town and the ambience it provides. As long as the weather cooperates, you are bound to have a good time.

Of course we have Corn Day coming up in Carmi. The parade, street vendors, pet parade, and live music make this a fun filled weekend. I love the sense of hometown spirit that Corn Day provides. It is nice to see the town come out and congregate on Main Street for this much loved event.

The first weekend in November is “The Heritage Festival” at Southeastern Illinois Junior College in Harrisburg. Taylor and I frequent this as well. There are so many goodies to be had that it takes us hours to make all of our rounds. We personally love the homemade Amish baked bread, as well as the delicious homemade fudge, divinity, and candy. There is a lady from down south that we buy crocheted goods from every year. She has shrugs, scarves and matching hats that are to die for! There are wonderful Christmas gifts there as well…including homemade soap, lotions, and ornaments.

The craft show at New Harmony is Oct. 12 in the old school gym downtown. You can typically find antiques, dolls, glassware, collecting memorabilia and handmade items here. There is nothing quite like a homemade quilt, or baby blanket, or Christmas ornament, to make me ooh and ahh! There is sure to be something here for everyone with reasonable prices to fit all budgets.

As the year draws to a close we typically have a White County Christmas, in Carmi, and New Harmony also has Christmas events on their local calendar that you can find online posted by the Kiwanis. Last year in Carmi we also had a craft show hosted at the fairgrounds Floral Hall which appeared to be a hit. In my mind there is nothing like a small town atmosphere with fall festivities to attend. Not only are you supporting your local crafters and economy, but you are experiencing a small glimpse of Southern Illinois Hospitality. Have fun this fall season and make these events a tradition that your children and grandchildren can look forward to for years to come.