(HCP photos by Rory Ryan.)
(HCP photos by Rory Ryan.)
BAINBRIDGE – After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fall Festival of Leaves is set to return to Bainbridge Oct. 14-17.

A new feature this year will be a “preview night” on Oct. 14. In addition to a ribbon-cutting ceremony (at Main and Maple streets) at 7 p.m. and the annual Queens Pageant at 8 p.m. at the Paxton Theatre, the midway will be open from 5-9 p.m. on opening night.

Arm bands on Thursday night will be $15, which will be good for unlimited rides from 5-9 p.m. Select arts & crafts, food and flea market vendors will also be open Thursday.

The first full day of the festival, Friday, Oct. 15, will be Senior Citizens Day. Lori Reed’s fourth grade class auction will be held from 11 a.m.-noon, followed by a performance by the Paint Valley marching band from noon to 12:30 p.m., both on the main stage.

A karaoke competition will be held Friday afternoon. Registration will take place from 1-1:30 p.m., with the contest held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Ribbons or trophies will be presented for the top three participants in each age group: under 13, 13-18 and over 18. (No professionals.)

Performances on the main stage will include a gospel performance by Evelyn Dement-Thomas from 4-5 p.m.; NStep Dance Troupe, 5-6 p.m. and Dallas, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Friday’s entertainment will conclude with Nashville recording artist The Woods performing from 9-11 p.m., sponsored by Ancient Valley Mercantile.

A two-day feature this year is the Cincinnati Circus, sponsored by Frisch’s, will perform from Friday from 3-4 p.m. and from 5-6 p.m. as well as Saturday from 1-2 p.m. and from 3-4 p.m. at the greenspace in the middle of town.

On Saturday morning, Oct. 16, the ninth annual FFL 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by P.V. Ministries, will begin at 8 a.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m.

An antique classic street rod and truck show will begin at 10 a.m., with registration starting at 9 a.m. Door prizes and awards will be presented. For more information on the show, contact Rick Mark at (740) 775-0647. An antique and classic car show parade will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Paint Valley Antique Machinery Club will also host an antique tractor show starting at 10 a.m. Their show will also feature blacksmithing.

Petland of Hillsboro will sponsor the 33rd annual Prince & Princess Contest Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Methodist Church.

Dennis Regling will present his “Wonder Show” from 11:30 a.m.-noon on stage and will also be strolling the grounds and making balloon animals Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Joy Unspeakable will also be on the festival grounds from noon to 6 p.m.

Performances on Saturday afternoon include the Dave Huffman Band from noon until 2:15 p.m.; New Again (Dennewitz and Neff Families) from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

A log-sawing contest will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at Main and Third streets, and a kiddie tractor pull will take place from 5-6 p.m. at Main and Maple streets. The tractor pull is sponsored by Johnson’s Dairy Queen.

Saturday night’s entertainment begins with Aron Jones and the Kool Kats, an Elvis tribute band, performing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sean Poole and Buckin’ Krazy will close out the night with a show from 8:30-11:30 p.m., sponsored by Ironsides.

On Sunday, a worship service will be held at the Paxton Theatre from 10:30-11:30 a.m. McKenna McFadden will perform on the main stage from 11 a.m.-noon.

At 1:45 p.m., visiting OFEA queens and the FFL queen, court prince and princess and courts will be introduced on the main stage. That will be followed by the 54th annual Fall Festival of Leaves parade, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

After the parade, the Kingston Kickers will perform. A drawing for prizes on the main stage will conclude the festival activities Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Amusement rides, arts and crafts, a flea market and food vendors will be featured each day.

For more information — including entry forms for the pageant, parade and 5K run/walk — visit https://fallfestivalofleaves.com.