The seventh annual Bemus Point Fall Fest opened Friday to summer-like weather as temperatures soared into the 80s and residents visited vendors and stores lined up on Main Street.
“Business has been pretty good,” said Kaitlyn Bentley, granddaughter of the current owner of the family-owned Peterson Farm, as she sat at the business booth surrounded by fruits and vegetables. “It’s a pretty nice day. I haven’t had the chance to look around, but I know (Saturday) is supposed to bring in more people.”
Peterson Farm is one of the vendors lined up along Main Street in the village, along with Abers Acres, McChesney’s Farm, Steady Plow Farm, 21 Brix Winery, K.C. Pops Kettle Corn and the Grape Discovery Center.
The vendors who ran their booths on the streets weren’t the only businesses benefiting from the Fall Fest. Monica Marsh and Mitchell Anderson, who worked inside the Bemus Point Market, said this summer was one of the best in a long time. While business typically slows down a lot after Labor Day, the Fall Fest has been bringing in customers. Both teens hoped to have a chance to visit the festival this weekend.
“It’s nice to get involved with something with the community,” Marsh said as she scooped some ice cream out for a customer. “It’s just a matter of letting people know (the festival) is here. Bemus Point is a small village.”
Linda Yates, a lifelong resident of Bemus Point, spent the day shopping.
“It’s nice to see everyone out,” said Yates as she caught up with her friend, Christina McKane, who now manages the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt vendor stand. The two women met when they both worked at Red Brick Farm in Mayville. “It’s so magical here.”
“It’s an amazing event, and I can’t wait to see it next year,” agreed McKane, who, like Yates, is enjoying her first year at the Fall Fest.
Val Johnson and Laurie Goold, however, have been coming to the Bemus Point Fall Fest since it began.
“I know the merchants, so it’s nice to support them,” Goold said.
“I love that they have farmers’ stands,” Johnson said. “(Bemus Point) should have a farmers’ market in the village during the summer. We get a lot of tourists, so a farmers’ market would do really well here.”
The festival will resume today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An arts-and-crafts show will be hosted outdoors at Imagine today and Sunday and features work by local artists Anne Jackson, Yancey Gillies, Jackie Thies, Elaine Caflish and others.
Local bands will also be showcased on the floating stage today and Sunday. Day passes, which provide open seating and admission, will be sold for $5 at the Italian Fisherman. Starting at 12:30 p.m. today, the Untouchables will take the stage, followed by Derek Davis Band at 2 p.m., Smackdab at 3:30 p.m. and We Speak Canadian at 5 p.m. On Sunday, Mick Hayes Band will play at 2 p.m.
Family activities are also taking place around the village. A petting zoo and pony rides will be at The Musky Mall, corn hole can be played outside of the Lakeside Cottage Shoppe and face painting will be provided by Eventz by Scott. Cracker Jack Farms’ stage coach rides will also be taking trips around town, and The Lawson Boating Heritage Center will be holding an open house over the weekend.
Restaurants in the village are featuring seasonal fall specials as well as providing sidewalk fare for the event, including the Italian Fisherman’s seafood chowder and sausage sandwiches. Caramel apples by Eve’s Apples are available on Skillmans’ front porch and the Bemus Point Market has Perry’s seasonal ice cream flavors, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie, for their customers to enjoy. The Hotel Lenhart invites the public to come and enjoy cocktails in their Lamplighter Room and watch the sunset from their porch as they close their 2015 season. Seasonal specials will also be offered at the Bemus Point Inn Restaurant, Coppola’s Pizzaria, Guppy’s Tavern, See-Zurh House, The Village Casino, Wired on Main and Ye Hare ‘n Hounds Inn.
The annual highlight of this event is the “Draw-a-Leaf” event, which entails discounts ranging from 5-50 percent off at local retailers. Ten locally owned stores are participating in Fall Fest: Bemus Bay Children’s Shoppe, Bemus Point Pottery, GG My Love, Imagine, Lakeside Cottage Shoppe, Petals & Twigs, Six Main Gifts, Skillmans, The Ugly Peacock and Wired on Main.
For more information about Fall Fest, visit shopbemus.com.
Original article by The Post-Journal.