The Taste of Autumn In Timnath, Colo.
Autumn’s arrival would seem incomplete in one northern Colorado community without celebration of the harvest season. On Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, the annual Taste in Timnath Fall Festival and Scarecrow 5K Run began with a nippy, overcast morning but yielded to a gorgeous afternoon, both weather scenarios bringing with them many hundreds of smiling faces.
The race, which started at 10 a.m., was open to experienced runners as well as family groups who simply wanted to begin the day with some good exercise in the countryside. Of course, that energetic activity worked up healthy appetites and thirsts that could be quenched at the festival which followed.
It’s only fitting that the once primarily agricultural small town continue recognizing its farming roots even though suburban life and nearby retail trade are now thriving in Timnath. The couple block original downtown area continues to exude its quaint charm, however, which draws citizens to community events throughout the year.
Main Street was closed to vehicle traffic all day so locals and guests could safely enjoy a myriad of fun and exciting activities. These included horse-drawn wagon rides; a craft/artisan fair; petting zoo; authentic German food and beer pairings; live entertainment; and much more.
The very first table at the north entrance on Main Street included a popcorn machine, cotton candy, snow cones and inflatables. Again, all was free. At 10:30, artistic 9-year-old Anna Faith Parrish sat on the ground at Living Rock Church’s booth, intently designing a chalkboard notice to draw in festival attendees. Who could refuse a free bag of popcorn on a brisk, cloudy morning that turned into a bright and sunny afternoon?
At Timnath Presbyterian Church, a hand-crafted prairie schooner type of wagon sat on display. By merely studying Internet photos, Russ Skinner and Gene Boling built it to-scale for the church’s 125th anniversary in 2009. Children clambered aboard as parents snapped off photo after photo of the unique wagon.
The younger festival-goers eagerly climbed into inflated castles, some with attached slides. But pumpkin decorating tables seemed to be the biggest hit for them and their parents. Many dozens of the orange spherical veggies sat drying on paper plates most of the afternoon, each awaiting it’s pint-sized artist’s return to proudly take their masterpiece home.
Siblings Luna and Leo Lopez of Timnath were the first youngsters to select and paint the pumpkins of their dreams. Both 7-year-old Leo and his 9-year-old sister decided on a wizard theme, but the two pudgy pumpkins were as dissimilar as night and day. Imagination and creativity certainly ran the gamut.
Although there was an entry fee for the 5K race, the festival portion of the day was free of charge. However, for $5, those folks craving unlimited food and a beer (extra beers sold separately) entered long, long lines of like-minded diners. The lines moved quickly all afternoon, though, and everyone ate to their stomach’s content.
The mouth-watering fare ranged from chicken schnitzels and purple cabbage with apples, to hot dogs, brats, turkey dogs, potato pancakes, white velvet mac and cheese. De-licious! Anyone who left room for desert could head over to Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers’ tent for a (yup, also free) huge cookie — like a really gigantic Oreo with a frozen custard center. Awesome!
At the south entry point of Main Street, John Hanck, DDS, stood ready to check IDs (for the beer) and answer questions/give directions. Hanck is a member of the Overland Sertoma Club, a local branch of a worldwide organization that serves area youth in need. Overland Sertoma has long-volunteered at Timnath events.
Just a few yards away, stage performances from The Country Music Project and Guerilla Fanfare Brass Band kept things lively and upbeat. Both group’s instrumentals and vocals were excellent, boosted by an acoustical system that clearly carried the music to every area of the event.
Artisan displays with items available for purchase included Konjo Coffee offering delicious fresh-roasted Ethiopian blends, and Desert Willow Up-Cycled Clothing & Décor.
Just east of the pumpkin decorating extravaganza, two massive Percheron horses stoically gave wagon rides. The 18 hands high (each 72 inches at the withers) white-gray geldings, sporting black and red harness, stood patiently for children and adults alike who reached up to pet the gentle giants.
A line formed down a side street for those awaiting a ride; each trip carried a full load of horse-drawn wagon aficionados. Moonlight Carriage Company owners Heather and Ben Erickson have participated in all Timnath town events for many years. They also drive teams at the Greeley Stampede, the Larimer County Fair Rodeo, and other Colorado venues from the northern part of the state clear down to Pueblo.
The Nunn-based equine business currently maintains 20 draft horses that are rotated to events year-round. Moonlight Carriage Company’s next Timnath appearance with be at the Tree Lighting Ceremony in December.
The Taste In Timnath Fall Festival enjoyed the best possible autumn weather this year, and festival attendees enjoyed the best possible food and entertainment. ❖
— Metzger is a freelance writer from Fort Collins, Colo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.