For those eager to feel the cool autumn air and enjoy Halloween a bit early, Mistletoe State Park kicks off its annual Campfire Tales, dulcimer workshop and Fall Family Festival this weekend.
Tim Hall, a professional storyteller from South Carolina, will start the weekend off with tales around the campfire at 7 p.m. Friday at the park's Assembly Shelter.
Hall typically wears a pioneer-era costume and shares the tales of John Henry, the steel driving man and others, said Marilyn Grau, volunteer weekend events coordinator for the park.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, the Garden City Strummers Dulcimer Group will perform and hold a dulcimer workshop outside the Nature Center.
Members will bring extra instruments for the audience, and the public is encouraged to bring their own and learn, Grau said.
"The dulcimer is a very easy instrument to play and it's a lot of fun," Ms. Grau said. "We usually pick up some dulcimer devotees."
The Family Fall Festival will begin at 5 p.m. and last until 10 p.m. The festival will feature live country music, bobbing for apples, hayrides, storytelling by Barbara Williams and plenty to eat and drink.
Starting at 6 p.m., there will be scavenger hunt for children 12 and under, said Brenda Bettross, clerk and naturalist at the park. Children will receive a plastic pumpkin bucket and will search for a Frankenstein, a pumpkin, a ghost and a witch in the woods for prizes of candy, she said. Costumes are not required but welcome, she said.
There will also be a night hike to orient hikers with the woods at night, Ms. Bettross said.
Campers at the park may also compete in a campsite decorating contest with the winners receiving free campsite stays, she said.
Admission to the park is $5 per vehicle, but there is no additional charge to attend any of the weekend's festivities. For more information, call 541-0321.