Queens Botanical Garden rings in the fall with festival

Chang siblings Cynthia, 6, and Nicholas, 10, of Bayside, show off their paper-painted pumpkins at a previous Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch at Queens Botanical Garden.
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Autumn has officially arrived, and rather than think about the potentially dreary winter behind it, Queens Botanical Garden is hosting a celebration this week where the community can enjoy nature and some of the more delicious offerings that accompany fall.

The second annual Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch will kick off Sunday and feature activities for the whole family, from decorating and carving pumpkins to selection of craft beers on tap.

“I think it is a great way to bring the community together and connect people back with the earth and all we get from it,” said Darcy Hector, director of marketing and development at the garden, at 43-50 Main St.

The fall is traditionally the time of year when agrarian societies around the world reap the benefits of a year’s worth of hard work, and that spirit of the nature’s bounties gave birth to holidays like Thanksgiving and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, commonly called the Moon Festival.

“It’s kind of a universal time to celebrate the abundance of the earth,” Hector said.

And there will be plenty of reasons to celebrate Sunday.

Last year, more than 5,000 people stopped by the garden for the festival, and Hector is expecting a repeat performance.

The party will run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will feature music from the Lonesome Moonlight String Band and the Bakersfield Breakers, as well as numerous demonstrations and artisan wares from local merchants.

Kids and parents can get a first-hand look — and, while supplies last, a taste — of how a traditional cider press works. Another demonstration will feature a wool loom and how the fabric of yore was made.

There will also be short instructional sessions on gardening, composting and glass painting, and garden staff will be on hand for walks and bird-watching expeditions through the foliage.

“We want to be the people’s backyard,” Hector said.

And it wouldn’t be fall without the garden’s pumpkin patch, which youngsters can raid and ply with the tools of their trade to create Jack-o’-Lanterns.

The event is free with the price of admission, which is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for kids. Pumpkins for carving are $3 and will be available while supplies last.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:48 pm, October 10, 2012
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Reader feedback

Cleo from College Point says:
Those kids are so cute and hilarious. More babies in editorial photos please!
Oct. 10, 2012, 10:46 am

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