By Tom Eastman
CONWAY — Fall is filled with everything from leaf-peepers to fairgoers to beer-lovers, and Mount Washington Valley businesses have packed the calendar with colorful, spooky and tasty events throughout the fall season.
Upcoming events include:
• Sherman Farm Corn Maize, East Conway Road, weekends through Oct. 30: In honor of the 50th anniversary of one of the most beloved "Peanuts" television specials, Sherman Farm is saluting Charlie Brown and the "Peanuts" cartoon gang with its corn maze of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
The maze covers 12 acres on the farm. It is open weekends through Oct 30, including Monday, Oct. 10 (Columbus Day holiday), with a local residents' day promotion offering half-price admission for residents of Carroll and Coos counties and Oxford and Cumberland counties in Maine. ID and proof of residence required.
Inside the maze, participants may play Farm Scene Investigation, Barnyard Bing-oh! and Cornundrums (corny riddles to solve). Other activities include the Jumping Pillow; the Grain Train; the Moo Express; and a corn cannon. Special events are planned throughout the season. A "Military Heroes Weekend" will be offered Oct. 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering free admission for active and retired military personnel (military ID required). Grandparents can get free admission on "Grandparents' Weekend," Oct. 22-23 — one free grandparent per paying child. Halloween will be celebrated at the Corn Maize with trick or treating, games and prizes Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children in costume for trick or treating get half-price admission from 2 to 4 p.m. (Rain date: Oct. 30).
The farm is 5.5 miles on East Conway Road from the Conway Police Station or 1 mile from the Fryeburg, Maine, post office on River Street. Cost is $10 for all ages (under 2 are free) and includes all activities except the corn cannons.
Sherman Farm operates a farm market, which is open daily year-round. Discounts are offered for groups. For more information, call (603) 939-2412 or visit www.shermanfarmnh.com.
• Return of the Pumpkin People, Oct. 1-31: Originally based in Jackson and now throughout Mount Washington Valley, this self-guided tour, now in its 32nd year, offers an official Return of Pumpkin People Map to find properties offering creative displays, each of which involves at least one "pumpkin person." Vote for the People's Choice Display, and use the map to take your own pumpkin-filled foliage tour of Mount Washington Valley. Maps can be printed off www.jacksonnh.com/event/964/Return-of-the-Pumpkin-People. Or call Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce at (603) 383-9356.
You'll also find more than a dozen pumpkin people displays at Settlers Green retail stores. Judging for their third annual Pumpkin People Challenge took place Oct. 1. Maps and "People's Choice" ballots are available at all participating properties for the Return of the Pumpkin People. Call (603) 356-7031 for information.
• 19th Annual Attitash Oktoberfest, Oct. 8-9: This two-day event will feature traditional Bavarian music from King Ludwig's Band, authentic German fare and of course, the Biergarten featuring 19 different local and regional breweries serving a variety of tasty beers and ciders.
Attitash Oktoberfest is also a family tradition, featuring a Kinderplatz tent complete with arts and crafts, face painting and other mini-games organized by the Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum. Kids of all ages will also enjoy the giant inflatable obstacle course. For adults, one highlight is the Samuel Adams Stein Hoist Competition. For those who would rather enjoy than hold their beer, other activities include a keg toss competition, corn hole boards and slacklining. For more information and ticket purchase, visit www.attitash.com/event/oktoberfest or call (603) 374-2368.
• Purity Spring Resort's Brew Ha Ha Festival, Oct. 9: Celebrate the Columbus Day holiday and fall color along with some seasonal offerings from such local and regional brewers as Moat Mountain Beer Co, Smutty Nose Brewing Co. and Woodstock Inn Brewing. Traditions Restaurant will offer seasonal specialties for purchase. Enjoy tunes by the Offramps starting at 3 p.m., followed by local favorite Shark Martin, at 4 p.m. Children's games and a bounce house sponsored by the Laura Foundation for Autism and Epilepsy will be featured. Admission is free. For information, visit www.purityspring.com/brew-ha-ha-festival or call (603) 367-8896.
• 10th annual Ghoullog at Cranmore: Friday and Saturday nights in October, as well as Oct. 9 and Oct. 25 (locals night) and Nov. 4-5. The approximately 50-minute haunt leads the unsuspecting through dark twists and turns, plus an outdoor element leading through the scariest of dark woods Add in the Haunted Playground, featuring the Mountain Coaster, Giant Swing and Soaring Eagle Zipline, offering special lighting, effects and the occasional ghost or ghoul when you least expect it, and you've got a nighttime of Halloween fun. Age, height and weight restrictions apply. Haunted Playground closes a half-hour after the Ghoullog. For complete information and pricing, visit www.theghoullog.com or call (603) 356-5533.
• Tuckerman Concert Series, Oct. 8 and 9: Cold Chocolate will perform Saturday and Town Meeting will perform Sunday, both from 4 to 7 p.m., in the Tuckerman Brewing Company Concert series, held at the brewery at 66 Hobbs Street in Conway Village near the Ham Ice Arena off west Main Street. The tasting room is also open. On Oct. 23, Miss Maybell and Slimpikins will perform. For further information, call (603) 447-5400.
• 166th Annual Fryeburg Fair, through Sunday, Oct. 9: Grand livestock parade is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. Maine humorist Krazy Jake will be featured in the Show at the Grandstand at 8 p.m. For full schedule, admission prices and more , visit fryeburgfair.org or call (207) 935-3268.
• Sandwich Fair, through Oct. 10: Competitions range from horse pulls to children's tractor races, plus New Hampshire food sampling, 4-H exhibits, photography and crafts. On Saturday, the Granite State Disc Dogs will perform shows at 10 a.m. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the log ring. An antique auto parade is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. The Grand Street Parade travels through Sandwich Village Sunday at 1 p.m. before heading into the fairgrounds. This year's theme is "Seven Wonders of Sandwich."
Saturday is Children's Day, Sunday is Family Day and Monday is Seniors, 4-H and Military Day. Visit thesandwichfair.com for entry forms and detailed information about rural New Hampshire's show times and competitions.
To reach the fairgrounds from Conway, head south on Route 16 to the Route 25-16 intersection in West Ossipee. Travel west on Route 25 and in 10 miles turn right onto Route 113 and follow it for 3 miles into Center Sandwich. The fair office is reached by calling (603) 284-7062.
• Columbus Day Sidewalk Sales at Settlers Green, through Oct. 10: Get in on the final sidewalk sales of the year at Settlers Green and Settlers Crossing. Visit settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/412-Columbus-Day-Sidewalk-Sale or call (603) 356-7031.
• Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Oct. 16: This 4.5-mile walk with a 2-mile option in Whitaker Woods, North Conway is a fundraiser to help raise funds for breast cancer research. Info: makingstrideswalk.org/northconwaynh.
• Berlin RiverFire Festival, Oct. 15: A family affair full of excitement, fun, thrills and chills, RiverFire includes plenty of activities to enjoy throughout the afternoon and evening. Gates at the Service Credit Union Heritage Park, 942 Main Street, Berlin, will be open from 2 to 10 p.m., with free admission to the park. Events include an ATV Zombie Poker Run, a 5K run, duck races, hay rides, hot air balloon rides, live music, a beer tent and food. At dusk, get ready for the RiverFire lighting ceremony when the bonfires set atop the old Boom Piers in the Androscoggin River light up the night and appear to be floating on the water. For additional information, visit www.riverfirenh.com or call the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce at (603) 752-6060.
• All Things Pumpkin Festival in Jackson, Oct. 15-31: For nearly two weeks, businesses throughout Jackson will host open houses, pumpkin tasting tours, carriage rides and more. Return of the Pumpkin People displays will be throughout the town. Check out the "Hunt for a Cure" Pumpkin People Selfie contest. The New England and Jackson Invitational Pumpkin Carving Competition will be Oct 21-22, with a "Lighting of the Pumpkins" set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. New this year is a "Pumpkin Chef" contest, open to chefs and visitors in Jackson's park with music by Al "The Rev" Shafner on Oct. 22. On Oct. 23, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce will host a silent auction, pumpkin carving, tastings, magic shows and more. Pumpkin sculptors will be in the park from 10 a.m. to noon to provide carving tips for families. Pumpkin painting, T-shirt making and pumpkin rolling will also be held. On Oct. 29 and 30, All Things Pumpkin Sleigh Carriage Rides will be held, starting at the Jackson Covered Bridge and stopping at different businesses, where treats will be handed out. On Oct. 31, Jackson will host a Sweet Street trick-or-treating. For a brochure, visit www.jacksonnh.com/event/1033/All-Things-Pumpkin-Festival or call (603) 383-9356.
• Pumpkin Patch Express on Conway Scenic Railroad, Oct. 21-23 and 28-30: Depart from the North Conway Station for a leisurely round-trip train ride aboard vintage coaches to the White Mountain Cider Co. in Glen, where each child can visit the "Pumpkin Patch" and pick out their own pumpkin. The 11:30 a.m. Bartlett Valley Train also stops at the Pumpkin Patch on its return to North Conway. Adults and children can get into the spirit by traveling in their Halloween costumes. Info and schedules: conwayscenic.com/events/event/pumpkin-patch-express or call (603) 356-5251.
• Murder Mystery Dinner Train aboard Conway Scenic Railroad, Oct. 21-22: Riders participate in solving a mystery steeped in presidential campaigns. The train departs promptly at 6 p.m. Plan to board early and enjoy a cocktail. The $125 fare includes first class seating for the three-hour train excursion, a four-course dinner, live theatrical performance, taxes and gratuities. Beverage service is additional. Reservations are strongly recommended. Lodging packages available with participating B-and-Bs. Info: www.conwayscenic.com or (603) 356-5251.
• Eighth Annual Halloween Town, Oct. 22: Sponsored by Purity Spring Resort in East Madison, Camp Tohkomeupog is transformed into an old-fashioned Halloween Town with more than a half-mile of lighted pathways winding throughout camp. Halloween Town features a kid carnival, petting farm, food court, tethered hot-air balloon rides, amusement ridesand the Trick-or-Treat Trail. For information go to www.halloweentownnh.thelaurafoundation.org or call (603) 367-8896.
• Wicked Woods Halloween Weekend at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, Oct. 28-30: Spend your Halloween in the Wicked Woods of the Great North. A long-continued tradition at Omni Mount Washington, the weekend features tricks and treats for the whole family. Bring your own costume on Saturday afternoon for the fourth annual Trunk or Treat Family Celebration and Kids' Halloween Costume Party that will take place at Bretton Woods. As for the adults, the resort will host a "Wicked" costume party Saturday evening for you to let loose and howl at the moon. For nformation, visit www.brettonwoods.com or call (603) 278-8989.
• A Haunting Night at Admiral Peary Inn, Fryeburg, Maine, Oct. 29: The fun starts at 6 p.m. with a pizza and salad supper. Hear from Ghost Hunters of Maine who will share their findings from past investigations of the Admiral Peary Inn. Open to the public and guests of the inn. Info and reservations, visit www.admiralpearyinn.com or call (207) 935-1269.
• Trunk or Treat Family is a Halloween Celebration and Costume party at Bretton Woods, Oct. 29: Enjoy festive wagon rides, carnival games, a bouncy house, face painting, balloon twisting, music, food, trick-or-treating and more. Local families will pile into the main lot at the Bretton Woods Base Lodge in their decorated vehicles and "pop their trunk" so children can trick-or-treat from car to car in a safe and central location. Info: www.brettonwoods.com/halloween or (603) 278-3320.
• Haunted Happenings at Settlers Green, Oct. 29: Kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult are invited to go trick-or-treating in stores indicated by the pumpkin sign throughout Settlers Green Outlet Village. Info: settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/358-Haunted-Happenings or call (603) 356-7031.
• Halloween Party at the Carriage House at the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, Oct. 30-31, 4-8 p.m: Open to the public. Costumes encouraged. Prizes and games for all. For more information, visit www.eaglemt.com/ or call (603) 383-9111.
• Special 10th Anniversary Ghoullog Night, Nov. 4: Tickets for this night only are available by reservation only. This exclusive one-night event includes one trip through the Ghoullog, a "lights on" tour through the haunt with the opportunity to take a closer look at the construction, speak with the actors and enjoy a cocktail party immediately following. Each ticket also includes two complimentary drink tickets, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a Q&A session with the creators of the Ghoullog and a 10th anniversary T-shirt. Tickets for the event are $125 and must be pre-purchased by Oct. 17, online. For more information, visit www.cranmore.com/ghoullog/dates or call (603) 356-5543.
• Ghoullog Lights Out, Nov. 5: For one night only, all the lights in the Ghoullog will be off. You'll be given a glow stick to navigate your way through the haunt! For more information, visit www.theghoullog.com.
• Treat Yourself Weekend at Settlers Green, Nov. 5-6: Treat yourself to a weekend of tax-free shopping, dining and fun in the MWV Valley. Events TBA. Info: www.settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/313-Treat-Yourself-2016.
• Bring a Friend Shopping Weekend at Settlers Green, Nov. 10-13: Get a jump on holiday shopping as Bring a Friend Shopping Weekend returns. Look for live entertainment, great sales at stores, giveaways and more. Two thousand goodie bags with coupons, samples and more will be distributed starting at 8 a.m. on Nov. 12. This has come to be known as one of the largest and definitely most fun shopping weekends of the year. Expanded to a four-day event this year. Info: settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/264-Bring-A-Friend-Shopping-Weekend or call (603) 356-7031.
For more information, visitwww.VisitNH.gov. or www.mtwashingtonvalley.orgor call the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce at (603) 356-5701 or the Conway Daily Sun's North Conway Magazine at www.conwaydailysun.com.