COHOCTON — It is that time of year again, brightly colored fall leaves, pumpkin pie, and hot coco steaming in a mug.
It is also time for the Cohocton Fall Foliage, one of the most nationally renowned festivals of the fall season. Now that it is approaching its 52nd Anniversary the village is gearing up for another successful year. The festival runs from Oct. 5 to 8 with local events happening Oct. 7 and 8.
The schedule is as follows:
Oct. 5 Prince and Princess Contest - Cohocton School- open to WCCS district Kindergarten only. 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 Spaghetti Dinner and Salad Bar- Presbyterian Church 4 to 6 p.m.; Fall Foliage Soccer Tournament at Sports Complex and Wayland-Cohocton Football Homecoming Game 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 Breakfast/Bake Sale at Methodist Church 7 a.m.; The following events will be held on the Village Greens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; arts and crafts, beef-on-wick by Cohocton Lions Club, Historical Exhibit at downtown and Larrowe House, petting zoo, and festival walkway by park, bake sale and basement sale at Methodist Church, and Chicken BBQ at Firehouse.
At noon the parade will begin, followed by free wagon rides. After the parade this year the NY ICONS South will perform on the Village Green. Music by Gemini Band from 2 to 5 p.m. Fireman’s waterball in Village Barns at 3 p.m. Spud Jug Games at Sports Complex at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m.
Oct. 8 Local churches at regular times and visitors are welcome to worship; 8 a.m to noon is pancakes at the fire hall; at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. activities began at the Village Greens again, petting zoo, arts and crafts, historical exhibit, and free wagon rides from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a Roast Pork Dinner at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church from noon to 3 p.m. A Great Duck Derby will take place at 1 p.m. at Maple Ave. River Bridge. Karaoke Contest at 2 p.m. and the festival ends at 5 p.m. There will be a car show at the Cohocton Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. New this year is the antique and vintage snowmobile show next to the car show at the same time. There will be a Karaoke Contest from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on the Village Greens. The band Golden Country will play at the Village Green from noon to 3 p.m.
Next year's festival will be Oct. 6 and 7.
Mayor and Festival Chairman Tom Cox has been part of this festival for 43 years now.
“The valley is pretty in the fall,” Cox said about how it all started. “People thought they should share the colors and get crafters together. It started out as a rich craft line. People were selling crafts out of the trunks of their cars. There was a point when the festival lasted two weekends.”
Cox added the unique thing about this festival is it is done in the fall.
“There are all these hot festivals were the heat kills you,” he said. “My people come in snow, sleet, and hail and are ready to buy things at the festival.”
“We have been really lucky,” Cox continued. “In my 43 years here we have never canceled the festival.”
The parade goes on in rain or shine. Each band gets $500 for participating.
“This year we wanted to salute the farmers for a change,” Cox said. “We are focusing on the harvest season.”
New this year is the Fall Classic Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show presented by Quadcounty Snowmobile Club.
Cox said the snowmobile club is excited to participate this year, and get people to check out their old snowmobiles.
“The snowmobile club is a big thing in New York now,” he said. “This is an original group that focuses on this area. It is usually done in the summer, but now they will do it close to winter.”
Last year there were 93 cars for the first classic car show, and this year they plan on having more.
“We did improve the car show this year,” Cox said. “It all depends on the weather, because cars can rust really easily.”
The High Striker was a huge hit last year, and Cox is happy to see that come back. The 1934 Markley Hi-Striker is the highlight of the festival, and is one of the only left in the United States. The 1934 Markley Hi-Striker Owner/Restorer John Petris, Jr. purchased the traditional carnival strength game a couple years back, and fully restored it.
“He (John) is a great man. He has youth come out and see his old stuff that he has collected over the years,” Cox said. “He has a fascinating museum. We had college groups compete against each other, and a female student was the first to ring the bell. It is all about how you hit the hammer against it, not about the power behind the swing.”
Cox added that although it seems like a lot the festival is down vendors these days. Mostly, because the young people don’t want to get involved.
The Cohocton Historical Society, The Davis House and Larrowe House will be open for the festival.