CUMBERLAND – The Franklin Farm Harvest Festival & Tractor Show, plus the new Franklin Farm 5K, is set for Saturday, Sept. 25, with fun for all ages, say volunteer organizers.
Denise Mudge, of the Historic Metcalf-Franklin Farm, said representatives from Cumberland’s Ravenous Brewery were already in talks about a 5K to benefit the town-based Northern Rhode Island Food Pantry when the idea came up to do it in conjunction with this fall event.
Cumberland’s Dean family had organized the 5K road race two years ago, but couldn’t do it this year. Anyone participating in the race, which is set to start on Barn Drive and trail along the roads surrounding Franklin Farm, will get into the festival for free. About 175 people had signed up as of this week, according to Mudge.
The festival itself will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 25, with a rain date the next day during the same hours.
The Franklin Farm Harvest Festival supports the nonprofit’s mission of preservation, education, and food insecurity assistance. So far during this year’s harvest, which lasts for about three more weeks, 30,000 pounds of produce has been gathered for area food pantries, with harvests such as heavy butternut squash and eggplant still to go.
The tractors at the event, which prove the most popular each year, will be back, as will scenic hayrides, barn tours, pony rides, food trucks and music. The Audubon Society will be present with its raptor program, and there will also be craft vendors, children’s games, and Cumberland’s Irish step dancers, said Mudge. A bunch of local organizations, including the Scouts, Lions, and Rotary, will also be there, for “a real community event.”
The goal is a fundraiser for the farm, said Mudge, but is also a “way we can get the community together to meet each other and find out what else is going on in town.
The event will be a bit more spread out in the past, but she said they are fortunate to have an expansive field and that the event is outdoors. People can wear masks if they feel more comfortable that way, she said. Lynn Dubeau will be back with her petting station and the farm’s new ducks, and there will also be llamas in attendance this year, which should make some people very happy, said Mudge.
This event is run entirely by volunteers, she said, and the farm is very fortunate to have a community that comes alongside it to help.
There is no admission fee, but the parking fee is $5, cash or credit. Cumberland police will be installing no-parking signs along Abbott Run Valley Road. Tickets may also be purchased ahead at Eventbrite.com, fees applied.
The Fall Festival will also be a chance to inform people about what Franklin Farm does with its many outreaches and educational programs, said Mudge, so stop by their booth. Come learn about the community garden aspect of the nonprofit, including the successful no-till garden that is set for expansion next year. Visit www.franklinfarmri.org .