BEMIDJI-- Ever dreamed of standing on top of the world surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage while munching on a homemade donut?
Then Buena Vista Fall Colors Festival this weekend has you covered.
An annual celebration of Buena Vista’s pioneering spirit and its heyday during the lumber boom, the event supplies all ages with an “old-fashioned family time” while discovering the history and lore of the lumberjack era.
Throughout the day, visitors can partake in a beloved festival activity by catching a ride on a horse-drawn covered wagon to glimpse the area’s exquisite fall colors on the high ridge known as the “Top of the World.”
“We’re going to have beautiful colors,” Suzanne Thomas, owner of Buena Vista Ski Area, said. “I think this will be one of our better color years to have the festival, so we’re excited about it.”
There will be a path that leads to the top of the ski hill, which attendees can also use to take in more of the surrounding views, Thomas added.
The festival will have activities such as chainsaw sculpting, square dancing and woodcarving along with blacksmithing and spinning demonstrations.
A family bluegrass group called Figuring It Out will play at the Lumberjack Hall of Fame Museum on Saturday. Piano playing by Muffy Dickinson will be on both Saturday and Sunday.
Craft vendors will be selling an assortment of homemade goods, and there will be a few new vendors this year, Thomas said.
There will be a variety of homemade lunch and snack options for sale, including sloppy joes and mini donuts. Complimentary beverages will be available.
Attendees will also have the chance to talk with local authors, explore exhibits of Buena Vista’s history and take a self-guided walking tour of the Old Buena Vista town site. A display of original logging history paintings by Andrew Stenstrom and Michael DeWitt will be available for viewing in the Milwaukee Train Car.
Children will have the opportunity to visit with baby goats and take part in a treasure hunt.
“We’ve had such a wonderful turnout in the past. Last year we had just over 900 people for the weekend,” Thomas said. “It’s just a wonderful event for all ages because there’s so much to see and so much to do.”
If you go:
What: Buena Vista Fall Colors Festival
When: Saturday, Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Buena Vista Ski Area and Logging Village, 19600 Irvine Ave NW
Admission for a 30-minute wagon ride:
Ages 13 and older: $6
Ages 5 to 12: $3
Children 4 and younger are free.
Rides are first come, first serve, no reservations needed.