Fall Festival: Carnival, arts and crafts show, and pie auction to bring crowds

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Boden Amusements carnival during Orion Fall Festival, Central Park, Orion

Boden Amusements of Bushnell once again will bring carnival rides and games to Central Park during Orion Fall Festival.

Hours will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4; and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5.

“The carnival people are excited about coming again this year,” said Byron Carlson, one of the Orion Fall Festival organizers. “We have a very good carnival, a great working relationship. They’ve been good to us through the years, and they’ve been good to work with.”

Advance tickets for the Orion Fall Festival carnival, Boden Amusements, should be available starting the second week in August at Orion IGA, BankORION, Parkside Treasure House and Orion Family Pharmacy, according to Jerry Meyer, another organizer.

Other kinds of entertainment are listed below, and as always, the pie auction and the arts and crafts show will bring a lot of people to the festival.

Pie auction

What other community raises $15,000 with a pie auction, even in a bad economy?

“The pie auction has been very generous over the years,” Carlson said. “It’s what sets off the Fall Festival from others.”

Both bidders and buyers are needed for the pie baking contest and auction on Friday, Sept. 3, said Vicky Diamond, who heads the committee with Carrie McCaw.

Registration and judging start at 4:30 p.m. Pies received by 5:30 p.m. will be judged for first, second and third place, as well as Best of Show.

Cream and meringue pies are not allowed. Bakers should use aluminum pie tins, and free tins will be available at Orion IGA, Orion Mart and Casey’s General Store in Orion.

The auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. Stenzel Auction Service, Osco, will sell all pies. All proceeds go to the Orion Fall Festival Fund.

Orion High School’s girls basketball team will assist during the evening.

For more information, contact Diamond at or Carrie McCaw at (309) 526-8644.


Orion American Legion Post is sponsoring bingo at 8 p.m. Friday in the picnic shelter.

Bingo will be staged again from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

“Deal or No Deal”

The Orion version of the popular TV show will be staged at 7 p.m. Saturday at the band shell in Central Park.

Harry Singh and Orion Gas Mart are sponsoring the game, which has contestants trying to find the card with the highest cash value. A banker tries to buy them out before they do find the card.

Jim Cooper is in charge of the game.

Food, food, more food

The food tent will be open at 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday next to the picnic shelter.

Prices will remain the same as last year. That helps the festival stay family-friendly, and it keeps people in Orion over Labor Day weekend so they spend their money at local businesses.

On Friday, starting at 5 p.m., Orion Area Churches Association will host an ice cream social between the picnic shelter and the restroom.

The line will begin forming early for Saturday’s pork chop dinner, which will begin serving at 5 p.m. in the food tent.

There will be a separate line for people who want the food tent’s regular offerings.

Orion Lions Club will put on a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the food tent.

Arts and crafts

Orion Fall Festival will have a craft show, flea market and antique show starting at 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday in Central Park.

Taking over the arts and crafts show are Tamey Johnson, Deb VanDerSnick and Tina Tennant.

“They’ve been doing a great job,” Carlson said.

“Whatever they’re doing is working,” said Jerry Meyer, the Fall Festival treasurer. With three weeks to go before the application deadline, the trio had brought in $1,600, almost half of the gross of last year.

They mailed out forms to vendors who had attended previous festivals, and they also went to other festivals to contact vendors in person.

Arthur “Ozz” and the late Dolores Carlson were in charge of the show for years.

Anyone wishing to exhibit hand-crafted items, flea market items and antiques must apply by Friday, Aug. 13. First paid is first served.

Sales of weapons and offensive items are not allowed. Weapons include knives, blowguns and martial arts devices.

Vendors may use 12th Avenue north of Central Park to unload and load. As soon as possible, vehicles should be moved so others can use the street.

Spaces are available inside a tent, or outside along sidewalks. Limited power is available. The registration fee will be higher for those with special electrical requirements.

For more information or an application, contact Tamey Johnson at (309) 526-8843 or Deb VanDerSnick at 526-3681.