Our growing South Shore community welcomed hundreds of visitors to Highlands Park on a glorious October day, with families taking the chance to hang out in the sun while the sounds of bluegrass music floated on the air. It was a day to use all your senses as the sights, smells and sounds of the season were presented, while children could ride a pony or touch a tortoise.
Of course, October wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins. They were a familiar sight all through the festival, either on stalls or being turned into works of art at the Pumpkin Painting stand. Kids were encouraged to be creative and decorate a carefully chosen pumpkin before getting busy with a paintbrush, kindly allowing their parents to carry the finished article for the rest of the event.
Ponies were also popular, a constant queue of tiny riders eager to get in the saddle and trot adjacent to the future home location of Parkview Place and The Cottages at Hollybrook, while two llamas looked haughtily on from the safety of their enclosure. There were chances to stroke a snake or to stop a spiny-backed tortoise from escaping, the latter activity not planned as such, but he was either trying to make a break for it or get to Cupcake Mojo before they sold out of their delicious treats.
To be fair, it wouldn’t be a SouthField event without food, and, yet again, the local cooking community delivered. There was pizza from Ecco Trattoria, real BBQ sandwiches from Tennessee BBQ, ice cream from Heidi Hollow, hot chowder from Summer Shack, while Dane from REI happily prepared mushroom risotto.
If there is food, you need a beverage to wash it down and what goes better with BBQ or pizza than beer? Peak Organic Brewery showcased its latest range of locally inspired brews, including the Fall Summit Ale and the ever- reliable IPA, a perfect drink on a sunny day in SouthField. For anyone who didn’t fancy celebrating the fact that it was five o’clock somewhere, Black Magic Coffee were providing lattes and hot chocolate, although some were more than content with several shots of a Bolivian espresso.
And because we were celebrating the changing of the seasons, we needed to do it to the sound of music. To officially welcome fall, we went bluegrass.
Chasing Blue are five Berkeley School of Music alumni who love the banjo and the violin, traditional musical instruments that have been a part of American culture and community for decades. A professional touring band, they provided a rhythmic backdrop to the event, entertaining the crowd with a succession of indie folk songs and bluegrass versions of popular songs, including a foot-tapping version of Long Tall Sally that breathed fresh life into an old classic.
BBQ, beer, bluegrass, coffee, cupcakes and painting pumpkins. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, all in the company of the SouthField community and under a bright October sun. That’s why we celebrate fall.