Festival season: Local communities plan fall festivities in coming weeks

The arrival of autumn means changing leaves, football games, pumpkin patches and crisp, sunny days.

But throughout Johnson County, the season brings something else, too festivals leaning heavily into the fall theme.

Cheer as local marching bands and community organizations parade through the streets. Taste the best of local restaurants and fill up on fair foods. Pick up all of the decorations, pumpkins, mums and other items to make your home fall-fantastic.

Run a 5K in honor of Edinburgh’s world record-holding champion trotter, and watch the cutest competition in the county the Dachshund Derby.

The coming weekends offer no shortage of season-specific fun. Here is a guide to help you make the most of it:

Edinburgh Fall Festival

Details: Today through Saturday, Main Street, Edinburgh; information at edinburgh.in.us

This has been a year of celebration for the town of Edinburgh. All throughout 2022, local residents have been partying for the 200th anniversary of the town’s founding. The annual fall festival keeps that theme going. Events will be ongoing throughout the weekend, including musical performances, vendor booths, a midway with rides and food.

The centerpiece will be the parade at 11 a.m. Saturday appropriately themed “Happy 200th Birthday, Edinburgh!” Young women will compete for the title of Fall Festival Queen, organized by Edinburgh Delta Sigma Chapter of Tri Kappa.

New this year is the Red Cloud 5K Trot, a family fun run set for 8 a.m. Saturday. The run is named for the famous trotter who, in the 1870s, shattered records and was known worldwide.

Farm Girl Mercantile Anniversary Party

Details: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 436 E. Jefferson St., Franklin

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the down-home, artsy-crafty shop in the heart of downtown Franklin. And has been their tradition, they’re throwing a party. The public is invited to browse through wreaths, home decor, mums and more at booths set up by outside vendors. Live music will be playing throughout the afternoon, and people can take part in make-and-take DIY kits to do later on.

Harvest Moon Fall Festival

Details: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, downtown Bargersville; townofbargersville.org/visitor/events

After taking a couple of years off in in 2020 and 2021, Bargersville’s signature festival is back on again. Everything gets started with the parade at 11 a.m., followed by a host of different activities and entertainment to keep people busy the rest of the day. Check out the coolest classic hot rods and other vehicles during a car show from noon to 4 p.m. Craft vendors will be selling the best of seasonal decor for your home, while a variety of food vendors help keep up your energy with festival fare.

Kids and adults can ooh and ahh over animals at the petting zoo from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Live music is scheduled throughout the day, while performers from Le Rose Dance Studio will twirl and tap from 3 to 4 p.m. The event closes with a performance by headlining act, Stella Luna and the Satellites, taking the stage from 6 to 9 p.m.

Franklin Fall Festival

Details: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 24, DriveHubler.com Amphitheater, downtown Franklin; franklin.in.gov

Take part in a full day of events as downtown Franklin welcomes fall while waving goodbye to summer. The festivities start at 8 a.m. with Rock Around the Block, a fundraising dance event raising money for the Moyra McCain Memorial Foundation. Kids can meet their favorite characters during Storybook Breakfast, organized by the Imagination Library of Johnson County. Entertainment, vendor booths, a wine and beer garden, kids activities and food trucks will be operating throughout the day.

Step back in time at the Johnson County Museum of History for its Heritage Days to learn about early settlers in the area. The annual parade starts at 1 p.m., while the ever-popular Dachshund Derby wiener dog race goes off at 3 p.m.

People can enjoy the music of Danny Thompson at 5 p.m., before Sounds of Summer a Beach Boys tribute band leads into a fireworks display at dark.