Tolay Fall Festival Presents Two Weeks of Family Fun

September 30, 2014 in News

The 2014 Tolay Fall Festival presents two weekends of old-time nature-based fun the weekends of Oct. 11-12 and 18-19. More than a pumpkin patch outing, the Tolay Fall Festival is a seasonal celebration connecting visitors with the beauty and history of Tolay Lake Regional Park in the hills southeast east of Petaluma. Activities are low-key, hands-on and educational by design. Fall Festival visitors can:

  • Explore the “Nighttime Creatures Barn” with its exhibits of native and exotic snakes, birds of prey, tide pool animals, and taxidermied wildlife and venture into the darkened “Creepy Crawly Room” where tarantulas and scorpions glow under black lights
  • Take a hayride to a farm field and find the perfect pumpkin
  • Visit a replica of a Native American village with kotchas made of reeds and bark
  • Try farm activities like wool carding, candle dipping and corn husk doll making Enter the World-Record Pumpkin-Seed Spitting Contest for a chance to win exclusive titles and a year of bragging rights
  • Join experts in archery, fly fishing and astronomy for interactive lessons Compete in gunnysack races, navigate a straw maze, and pet barnyard animals
  • Enjoy food and desserts from local vendors or bring a picnic to enjoy at the park

Tolay Lake Regional Park is at 5869 Lakeville Highway, at the end of Cannon Lane. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 for teens and adults, and $1 for children 12 and younger. (All activities inside the festival are free.) Regional Parks’ members get free, one-time admission for two adults and two children and free parking when they present their membership cards at the entrance. Parking for non-members is $7.

Tolay Lake Regional Park was a farm and commercial pumpkin patch before being purchased by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District in 2005 and transferred to Regional Parks. With community input, Regional Parks is developing a master plan that will suggest how to fully open the park to the public and protect its natural and cultural resources. In the interim, public access is allowed through a permit program, guided hikes, and special events.

During its two-week run, the Tolay Fall Festival is open to the public on weekends and school groups during the week. More than 6,000 students are scheduled to attend this year.

 For more information, visit sonomacountyparks.org or call Regional Parks at (707) 565-2041.

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