Did you know that fall is most Americans’ favorite season? When you consider the reprieve in weather, the changing of the colors in the foliage, and the abundance of festive holidays approaching, it’s easy to understand why.
But in Butte County, there is a particularly agricultural twist that adds to the overall feel of autumn in the area, and it really makes its presence felt in October with a slew of events, all building up a decidedly “fall harvest” vibe.
Thirty downtown Chico businesses participate in this month-long art walk that kicks off Friday, Oct. 4 from 5-8pm, and features live music and a display of local artists’ works, including paintings, ceramics, and sculptures--and it’s all paired with complimentary tastings from area wineries and breweries.
Opening night will have local refreshments, appetizers, wines and beers, plus live music from the Chico Saxophone Quartet, Trinity Accordion, Sparklers, Jazz Impressions and Herd on Third. Plus: Complementary wine glasses for tastings! Local breweries and wineries include Secret Trail, Sierra Nevada, Gale Vineyards, British Bulldog Brewery, Majestic Oak Family Cellar, Almendra, and Lassen Traditional Cider.
A major Paradise pride point is its two-day fall festival now known as the oldest harvest in the state, one that dates back to 1888. All things apple are on display in celebration at Johnny Appleseed Days, which popularly feature apple pie and ice cream as well as DIY apple pie kits, a children’s area with face painting and games, nonstop entertainment over the course of the festival, and even an appearance from Johnny Appleseed, who shares some stories with young visitors.
The festival begins this weekend, starting at 10am both days.
Patrick Ranch is one of Durham’s most- and best-used agricultural event centers, and it will host Autumn Fest all throughout October, starting this weekend with the opening of its pumpkin patch--but that’s far from the end of it.
Hay rides, pony cart rides, Glenwood Farm House Tours and, of course, pumpkin patch activities are tailor-made for the whole family, with other special children’s activities and interactive learning opportunities at the ranch. Local gifts are available in the gift shop, and the Midway Cafe will provide refreshments for those looking to make an extended day of their visits.
Beginning Oct. 8 are field trips on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for students, who receive a small pumpkin on their visit, and Oct. 19 is North State Parent’s Annual Kids Farm Day, with another opportunity to visit the pumpkin patch. For those who like to wait on their pumpkins and make jack-o-lanterns closer to Halloween, one last pumpkin patch weekend takes place the 26th and 27th.
Butte County likes its beer, and Oroville is taking that sentiment to heart with its first Oktoberfest, hosted at Union Square this Saturday from 4 to 8pm.
For just $25 (or $30 at the door), visitors can enjoy music, brats and, yes, brews, and gifts will be provided to those who go the full nine yards and come dressed in Lederhosen! A traditional German-style celebration of the fall harvest, Oktoberfest will feature local food, local beers, and live tunes.
A kickoff to the holiday shopping season, Downtown Chico gets things going Oct. 11 and 12 with merchants showcasing their businesses and goods with specials and sales all weekend. Participating downtown restaurants will offer fall-themed menu items and signature dishes, and downtown Chico will adopt a distinctly fall vibe as storefronts and the town decorate appropriately with hay bales, scarecrows and pumpkins.
Tickets are on sale now for Passport Weekend, which takes place the 12th and 13th. Foodies and beverage enthusiasts will be right at home in this hugely popular local ode to the agricultural gifts Butte County gifts each harvest. Whether it’s a self-guided tour of a local trail, a chance to meet local farmers or winemakers, or an opportunity to visit the area’s specialty farms, passport holders will have special access on the Farm Trail.
But that isn’t to dismiss the rest of the Sierra Oro Farm Trail’s offerings! Typical first-time visitors to the trail start in Durham and weave their way through several popular local wineries--Dog Creek Cellars, Gale Vineyards, Nascere Vineyards, and Almendra--before heading out toward Oroville and the Sohnrey Family Fine Foods store, which showcases a variety of nut and rice products, including their snickerdoodle almond butter (which is just as good as it sounds). From there, much of Oroville’s many olive and nut farms are easily accessible, as are any of its local wineries.
Wholesome Halloween? Sold! Designed to be a safe adventure for children 12 and under, the setup couldn’t be simpler: Supervised children in costumes cruise downtown Chico going door to door trick-or-treating, and nearly 100 businesses hand out treats on Oct. 31!
A ton of activities and entertainment are on hand, plus local police and fire pros offering safety tips for trick-or-treaters who will be continuing their night into other neighborhoods. Local Rotarians also will be present to help guests cross downtown streets safely.
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly way to appreciate the fall harvest and Halloween or seeking a getaway to take in the local agricultural scene, Butte County has plenty of activities to fill your October calendar.