Harvest Traditions: Cedar Valley Arboretum Fall Harvest Festival

posted on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Fall Harvest Festival 2016 is September 11 at the Cedar Valley Arboretum

Activities for the Kids at the Cedar Valley Arboretum's Fall Harvest Festival

When the birds are fledged and flown,

And the dry leaves strew the path . . . 

Once again the fields we mow

And gather in the aftermath.

                -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Aftermath”


From the Balinese veneration of Dewi Sri the rice goddess to the pagan British festivals adopted by Christianity, getting together to celebrate the work of farmers, abundance of food, and hope for next year’s harvest is a tradition as old and diverse as humanity itself. In the time before air conditioning and gas furnaces, the day-to-day life of people was knit together with the seasons, giving people a natural rhythm and ritual from year to year.

Here in our pocket of the heartland, we keep the tradition of harvest celebration alive with Fall Harvest Festival at the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens. Come admire the plants of the Cedar Valley Arboretum while taking part in the festival on September 21 and 22, from 11am-4pm both days.

Fall Harvest Festival 2019 is September 21-22 at the Cedar Valley Arboretum

Envisioned by the arboretum to be “a joyful celebration of autumn and the summer’s success,” the Fall Harvest Festival brings together a variety of activities to create an outing to please the whole family. Some highlights include the show and shine car display, craft and food vendors, tractor trolley rides, live music, a plethora of children’s activities, and more! 

Fall Harvest Festival 2019 is September 21-22 at the Cedar Valley Arboretum

For those with an interest in history, a prairie village will be set up at the arboretum to educate visitors and pay homage to the frontier past of Iowa. There, you can see demonstrations of blacksmithing, storytelling, woodcarving, spinning, and other crafts preserved by tradition. Glimpse what life was like in the time when a good harvest meant everything to the life and prosperity of a family.

The Fall Harvest Festival is full of crafts and activities to put you in the mood to welcome autumn after a hot summer. The famous scarecrow display will be returning this year, the Hovick Family Farm will bring animals and the Home Depot will have simple building kits available for kids in the Children's Garden (while supplies last). And, have you heard of a candy cannon? It will make an appearance in Pioneer Village!

Fall Harvest Festival 2019 is September 21-22 at the Cedar Valley Arboretum

Admission to the Fall Harvest Festival for children 13 & under is free. For adults and teens 14 and older, admission is $5. For driving directions, please visit the Cedar Valley Arboretum website

If you'd like to find more to see in the Cedar Valley, we invite you to contact the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 319-268-4266 (800-845-1955). Or visit Things to Do, Places to Stay and Places to Eat & Drink and put together a weekend itinerary using our Travel Pack

Guest blog post by Hannah Carr-Murphy

Photos courtesy the Cedar Valley Arboretum

Fall Harvest Festival 2019 is September 21-22 at the Cedar Valley Arboretum

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