Ottawa to host a pair of fall festivals

Scarecrows, fall parade highlight full weekend

Ottawa will be in full fall mode Saturday and Sunday as the downtown will host two festivals.

Downtown will host the annual Scarecrow Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Along with the judged scarecrow competition, in which businesses and organizations compete by making their own scarecrows, the event will have music, food and more than 40 vendors and other activities.

This year’s scarecrow theme is Gods and Heroes. The scarecrows will be set up downtown, including in front of participating businesses.

Kane Family Farms will be selling apple cider doughnuts, Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts, will perform a comedy magic show, there will be a petting zoo, a pumpkin painting station, a puppet show and face painting.

Yim Curry, Tony’s Butt Shack BBQ, Aussem Dogs, RS Concessions, Keely’s Cotton Candy, Cat’s Q, Sheila’s Eggrolls, T’s Food Shack, Mamita’s and J&K Concessions will be on-hand as food vendors.

A Battle The Buffalo Chili Competition at noon on the Jordan block will be among the activities for Scarecrow Festival. A panel of judges will blind taste all of the competitors, including the Lone Buffalo, for the top chili prize. After the campion is announced, chili will be sold for $5 a cup with 100% of the proceeds going to the Ottawa Community Food Basket.

Saturday is just the beginning of the fun, however.

The Fall Festival and parade is scheduled 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in downtown Ottawa, mostly in the Jordan block. The event will feature free children’s activities, live music by Bob Bradish and the Backstabbers, vendors and food.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. The route will start at Jackson Street and travel down La Salle Street past the Jordan block. More than 35 groups and organizations are signed up to take part in the parade.

Open Space Art Gallery will be hosting stations at both events. Saturday the gallery will be set up at Washington Square for visitors to make wooden pumpkins. Sunday the gallery will host a station at the Jordan block making bats.

Dressed in her scarecrow finest, Annette Barr tosses candy to the crowd along La Salle Street in Ottawa during the scarecrow parade Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.