By Alicia Dziak

October is here. Falling leaves, cooler temps (maybe!) and fewer hours of daylight. October also means fall fun—corn mazes, pumpkins, apple picking, hayrides and all those things you can only enjoy this time of year.

If you’ve driven down Route 240 in East Concord this week, you’ll see that the giant pumpkin is out at Wendel’s, along with hundreds of smaller pumpkins filling up the fenced-in yard! For many, fall just isn’t fall without an annual trip to Wendels’, where you can get your fall decorations, carving pumpkins, apples and other treats. On weekends throughout October, enjoy hayrides. Oct. 7 and 8 is a quilt show and sale. Oct. 14 and 15, and 21 and 22 is the Arts in the Barn Craft Show. And don’t miss the weekend chicken barbecue, available only through Oct. 29.

For even more fall fun, head to Great Valley, where Pumpkinville is open for the season. Enjoy a giant, Curious George themed corn maze, pedal cars, hay rides, Jumpin’ Pillows and endless photo opps, while picking out a pumpkin and indulging in a huge selection of treats, ranging from maple cotton candy to pumpkin donuts to chicken barbecue. Browse the gift shop, check out the cider mill and stock up on everything you need for fall.

If you’re looking for a scarier kind of fun, Nightmare Hayrides on Somerville Street is now open Fridays through Sundays through Oct. 29. Nightmare Hayride is a 25-minute tractor drawn hayride that will lead you down a creepy haunted path with live scary creatures. Follow that up with a visit to the Gothic Chamber, Haunted Wooden Maze, Haunted Barn and Vortex Tunnel. For more info, visit

For something much less scary, check out the NIGHT LIGHTS at Griffis Sculpture Park, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 8. For the fifth consecutive autumn, Griffis Sculpture Park will again be illuminated with colorful and theatrical lighting, and you’ll be blown away by the sculptures and natural surroundings lit up with awe-inspiring displays of lights and colors.

Oct. 7-8 marks Ellicottville’s  Fall Festival, when tens of thousands of festival-goers make for a lively weekend of unique foods, fine art, and an arts and crafts show, carnival rides, live entertainment and much more. Fall Festival is a fun, family-friendly way to kick off the autumnal fun in Ellicottville. In addition to the vendors and the fun downtown, Fall Festival extends to Holiday Valley with a 5K and chairlift rides to Spruce Lake. HoliMont’s Exhibition Express will also be giving free chairlift rides on Saturday from 11:30 to 4 p.m.

Apple picking season continues this month, and it’s the perfect time to stock up for all those pies, crisps, cobblers and snacks. Head to Stonehill Orchard at 2356 Shirley Road in North Collins to grab a selection. Check out their Facebook page to see what varieties are available. In addition to apples, Stonehill Orchard has u-pick grapes when in season and sells local honey and maple syrup.

Fundraising Events

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association is holding its annual Fashion Show on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. The theme for 2017 is “Apple of Your Eye Fashions.” This year’s event will be held at the Concord Senior Center on Commerce Drive, off Waverly, in Springville. Volunteers will model outfits and accessories from Christopher & Banks and Maurice’s of Springville. Refreshments, a basket raffle and sale of items from the BCH Gift Shop will be part of this event.

The BCH Women’s Association supports projects and equipment at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home. Their volunteers work throughout the year to coordinate fundraising events like this fashion show, and management of the BCH Gift Shop. The group’s most recent donation funded a state-of-the-art vein viewer, now in use in the hospital’s emergency department and lab.

Tickets are $8 presale and available at the BCH front desk and the BCH Gift Shop. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $9 each. Call (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 for more info.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, the annual SYI Night at the Derby will be held at St. Al’s Parish Hall, at 186 Franklin Street Springville.

“A Night at the Derby” is an audience-participation fundraiser that brings the excitement of thoroughbred racing to you! You don’t need to know anything about horseracing to participate & have fun. You can buy a horse in our advance sales happening now (details below) or simply come and wager on you favorite. The night will include:

• 11 action packed races featuring actual high quality video taped races of real thoroughbreds projected on a large screen.

• Actual race announcers calling each race

• ”Wagering” on each race – Pick your favorite and cheer him to victory!

• Join the racing elite and OWN YOUR OWN RACE HORSE! Owners of each winning horse will win a cash prize and will be entered into the 11th race for a chance to win a fabulous grand prize!

• Your event ticket gets you admission to the event, complimentary beer, wine, beverages & light snacks.

• Music, fun, excitement and even a silent auction!

Visit for more information or to purchase tickets; tickets can also be purchased from any SYI board member.

October is about spending time with family and friends, indoors and out. Get out and enjoy!