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 is approaching its 51st Anniversary the village is gearing up for another successful year. The festival runs from Oct. 6 to 9 with local events happening Oct. 8 and 9.
The schedule is as follows:
Oct. 6 Prince and Princess Contest - Cohocton School- open to WCCS district Kindergarten only. 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 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. 8 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. Music by Fingerlakes October Fest Band at 2:30 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. 9 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. There will be a Karaoke Contest from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on the Village Greens.
Next year's festival will be Oct. 7 and 8.
Mayor and Festival Chairman Tom Cox has been part of this festival for 39 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 39 years here we have never canceled the festival.”
The parade goes on in rain or shine. Each band gets $500 for participating.
“It is a nice time of year,” Cox said. “There are no judges or worries. People are just getting back to school, and there are good performances.”
Cox said his favorite part is working with the good people he has known for many years.
“I get to work with people I have worked with for many years,” he said. “It is just like homecoming. We have the football and soccer games. We meet old friends again.”
One thing the town is hoping to bring back is the tour through the old Larrowe Mill.
“People use to go through the mill during the festival and the line was always two blocks long,” Cox said. “I am hoping they can bring it back.”
Cox believes mother nature will hold out for us this year.
“I hope we will get a lot of great color this year,” he said. “Everything depends on mother nature.”
The Cohocton Historical Society, The Davis House and Larrowe House will be open for the festival.