Tolay Fall Festival 2013

Watch this video for a sneak peek

Tolay Fall Festival batTolay Fall Festival 2013 

The Tolay Fall Festival offers two weeks of old-time, nature-based fun each October at Tolay Lake Regional Park east of Petaluma. The public is invited to the 2013 Tolay Fall Festival on the weekends of Oct. 12-13 and 19-20, and school groups are invited the weekdays of Oct. 10-11 and 16-18.

More than just a pumpkin patch, the Tolay Fall Festival is a seasonal celebration  connecting visitors with the beauty and history of this special park. Fall Festival activities and displays are low-key, hands-on and educational by design.

  • Explore the “Nighttime Creatures Barn” with its exhibits of native and exotic snakes, birds of prey, tide pool animals, and taxidermied wildlife.
  • Venture into the “Creepy Crawly Room,” where tarantulas and scorpions glow under black lights.
  • Take a hayride to a pumpkin patch in the park’s back 40 and find the perfect Halloween pumpkin.
  • Visit a replica of a Native American village and try farm activities like wool carding and candle dipping.
  • Enter the World-Record Pumpkin-Seed Spitting Contest for a chance to win an exclusive title and a year of bragging rights. See PDF filethe 2012 results (190 kB.)
  • Join experts in archery, fly fishing and astronomy for hands-on demonstrations.
  • Participate in gunnysack races, find your way through a straw maze, and pet barnyard animals.
  • Enjoy food and desserts from local vendors or bring a picnic to enjoy at the park.

Weekend hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults and teens and $1 for children 12 and under. Regional Parks members get free, one-time admission for two adults and two children and free parking when they present their membership cards and parking tags at the entrance. Parking for non-members is $7. Activities inside the Festival are free.

Tolay Lake Regional Park is at 5869 Lakeville Highway, at the end of Cannon Lane.

Note: We are not accepting reservations for special gatherings at the park during the Fall Festival. Groups are welcome to attend, but picnic areas will be available only on a first-come, first-served basis.

Activities Schedule

  • Lawn games - Noon
  • Scarecrow building contest - Noon
  • World-record seed-spitting contest - 3 p.m.
  • Extreme hay ride - 3 p.m.

Exhibitors

Enjoy educational, entertaining displays and hands-on activities with the following Fall Festival exhibitors:

  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
  • The Olompali People
  • Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin (MAPOM)
  • Beekind Honey
  • Barlas Boer Goats
  • Hawk Watch
  • Early Day Gas Engines and Tractor Association
  • Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters
  • Sonoma County Astronomical Society
  • Sonoma County Bowmen
  • Sonoma County Mounted Assistance Unit
  • Sonoma County Reptile Rescue
  • Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District
  • The Bird Rescue Center
  • Fawn Rescue
  • Petaluma High School Wildlife Museum

Food

A day at the Fall Festival can work up an appetite. Enjoy food from the following vendors or bring a picnic to enjoy at the park.

  • Willie Bird’s Turkey
  • Russotti’s Dogs
  • Dad & Son’s Gourmet BBQ
  • El Coronel Taco Truck 

School Field Trips to the Fall Festival

Boy with Tolay goat 150More than 7,000 school children are scheduled to visit the Fall Festival on weekday field trips Oct. 10-11 and Oct. 16-18. Students will make farm- and environmental-themed crafts, learn about local wildlife through live displays in a historic barn, take hayrides to a pumpkin field and play old-fashioned games. This special field trip introduces students to the role of agriculture and farming in healthy communities.

Registration for the Fall Festival field trips is now closed. If you have already registered and have questions, please contact Christina McGuirk at (707) 789-9699 or christina.mcguirk@sonoma-county.org.

  Read more about our other school programs

Volunteers

Volunteers play a vital role in the Tolay Fall Festival. More than 250 volunteers are needed to help with both the weekend public hours and the weekday field trips attended by thousands of students. Volunteer shifts are five hours and begin at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. or 12 p.m. Volunteers will receive a Fall Festival T-shirt, lunch, and a parking pass good at all Regional Parks.

Potential volunteers are asked to attend one of the following orientations at Regional Parks' main office and may sign up for shifts at that time.

  • Thursday, October 3, 2013, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 5, 2013, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 6 p.m. - 11 a.m.

To attend an orientation, please contact Volunteer Coordinator John Ryan at (707) 565-3356 or parksvolunteer@sonoma-county.org. (Last year's volunteers do not need to attend these orientations.)

 

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Tolay Fall Festival, October 12-13 & 19-20, Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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