From our friends at Destination Mansfield – Richland County

As the leaves turn golden and the air takes on a crisp edge, October brings with it a vibrant tapestry of events and festivities. From harvest festivals to spooky happenings, you’ll find our Richland County family of communities buzzing with excitement.

Don’t miss our annual highlights like the Prairie Peddler Festival (here one last weekend), the Great Pumpkin Glow at Kingwood Center Gardens and the much-anticipated Escape from Blood Prison for those who prefer a little autumn fright.  Make sure you check out our calendar of events for the complete and most up–to-date list.

The Prairie Peddler Festival wraps up Oct. 1st. Over 200 artisans from around the region peddle their wares during this event in Butler. You’ll find live music, delicious food, and craft demonstrations in a great family-friendly atmosphere.

Over 1,000 pumpkins are transformed into glowing Jack O’ Lanterns during the annual Great Pumpkin Glow (Oct. 20-22) at Kingwood Center Gardens. You’ll find plenty of photo ops, food trucks and live music. Timed tickets are required so purchase those now so you don’t miss out. A Community Pumpkin Carving event will be held on Oct. 18th & 19th for those able to lend a hand. No creativity required; all tools and templates will be provided.

Fear mongers flock to Escape from Blood Prison to experience one of Ohio’s most terrifying haunted experiences at the Historic Ohio State Reformatory. Some of Ohio’s most violent offenders have served time behind bars at OSR and some never left, as the structure is a hot bed of paranormal activity. This event is open on weekends during the month of October for those who dare.

Looking for another haunting experience? J & J Field of Screams is not for the faint of heart. This family farm is transformed into a field of terror where you’ll find a haunted hayride, terrifying corn maze and disturbing path into the woods.

We may be enjoying pleasant weather now, but winter is right around the corner. Make sure your teens are prepared for winter driving and enroll them in the Teen Defensive Driving Program at the Mid-Ohio Driving School. They can even save money and double the fun when they enroll with a friend

Shop Local

Grab your significant other or a few friends and visit our vibrant historic downtown with over 50 independently owned shops, restaurants during First Friday Shop Hop (Oct. 6).

This is the final month to shop at the local farmer’s markets. Don’t miss the chance to pick up fresh produce and baked goods at the Bellville Farmers Market (Oct. 7).

Plan ahead for the Snow Trails Patrol Swap Weekend November 2-5. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab deals and browse great selections to get you ready for the slopes.

Harvest Happenings and Fall Festivals

Check out these local festivals, fun, family adventures and culinary delights.

See the Alpacas, watch spinning demonstrations, felting demos, face painting and more during Fall Farm Days at Alpaca Meadows (Sept. 30, Oct. 1). This event highlights fiber animals and their products. Think early Christmas Shopping!

The 5th Annual Food Truck Festival will be back at South Park on Oct. 6th to delight the community with tasty culinary offerings.

D | L | X brings back a community classic, Rock-n-Ribs Oktoberfest, for a weekend full of food, drinks, and games. Located on the Square in Downtown Mansfield, there will be four Award Winning National Vendors and a beer garden with seasonal craft draft beers, wine, and cocktails. (Oct. 5,6,7)

Immerse yourself in the 18th and 19th centuries through hands-on crafts, demonstrations, military reenactments and other activities at the 7th Annual American Heritage Days at South Park. This free event will start on Thursday October 5 from 6:30pm to 9pm, and into Saturday October 9 from 8am to 9pm.

Experience bird shows, food trucks, games, activities and more family-friendly fun at the Fall Family Festival at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary (Oct. 14).  

Crowfest (Oct. 14-Nov.1) swoops in at the Mansfield Art Center with crow-inspired artwork in a variety of mediums. You’ll find food trucks, craft beer, fall festivities and more at the opening reception.  Don’t miss the MAC Masquerade Party on Friday, October 13.

Local Harvest Fun

From pumpkin patches to hayrides to culinary delights, savor all the fun of the season.

J & J Riestschlin Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is open through October. Pick your own pumpkin, take a hayride, get lost in the “Looney Tunes” corn maze and experience 30+ other activities on this family farm.

Dress up the kids and show up in costume for the First Friday Haunted Carousel (Oct. 6) and receive free festive candy.

The 7th Annual Trunk or Treat (Oct. 14) at the Richland Outreach Center will feature food, games, music and candy.

The Mosaic Fall Festival (Oct. 20) includes food, face painting, horse rides, games, Trunk or Treat and more.

Walk up and down the streets of Lexington as they host Trick or Treat, or head over to Butler for Trick or Treating and a Parade on Oct. 26.

Cultural Artistic Delights 

From live performances to creative workshops you’ll find activities and events to inspire and unleash your inner artist.

Spooky Stained Glass Bat, (Oct. 5, 6), Macrame Halloween Bat (Oct. 13) and Superstitious Black Cats (Oct. 13) are a sampling of the spooky creations you can make at the Mansfield Art Center during the month of October.

If you prefer to make an autumn-themed craft for the season, you can felt a cute little pumpkin at Alpaca Meadows (Oct. 7) and paint a woodland scene with an Owl and Babies at Kingwood Center (Oct. 26).

Rent the Musical will take the stage at the Renaissance Theatre (Oct.6). This emotional play follows a group of impoverished young artists and musicians who are struggling to survive and create in NYC’s Lower East Side under the shadow of HIV/AIDS as they negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts.

The Mansfield Playhouse presents Angel Street (Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28 & 29), the story of the Manninghams who live on Angel Street in 19th century London. At first, it appears that Mr. Manningham is a kind, devoted husband but the performance takes a twist when you learn he is slowly pushing his wife, Bella, towards insanity with an insinuating kindness that masks more sinister motives.

A silent film of the Phantom of the Opera is brought to life by the sounds of the Wurlitzer Organ at the Renaissance Theatre (Oct. 22).

Take a Hike

In addition to the weekly Parkrun, you’ll find opportunities to get outside and hit the pavement or nearby hiking trails.

The 5th Annual Out of the Darkness Walk (Oct.22) to raise awareness for suicide prevention will take place at Freer Field in Ashland.

This month you can visit Malabar State Farm for a Fall Color Hike (Oct. 7) or take a Ghost Walk (Oct. 22- pre-register) or both.

Live Music

The Phoenix Brewing Company1285 Winery and Richland Source Newsroom all offer live music this month. View the Live Entertainment page for a complete listing.

Whether you’re a fan of the great outdoors, an art enthusiast, or just looking for a good scare, we’ve got you covered.  Let’s make October a month to remember! Don’t forget to tag Destination Mansfield on social media so we can share the fun!

Source: Destination Mansfield – Richland County; Image by Ilo from Pixabay

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